IMUG Past Events Archive: 2018




2018 Events:


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2018 Events Archive

February 15, 2017, 6:30-9:00 PM
(Networking 6:30-7:00 PM)

Adlam - An African Alphabet Adventure
Hosted by Google in Mountain View, CA

Photos: new page
Video: coming soon!

Fulani (aka Pulaar) may be the largest language you've never heard of. But over 25 million people in 24 countries across Africa rarely wrote or read their own language until two young teenagers in 1990 invented a new alphabet, now called Adlam.

They spent years manually writing books and training people to read and write in Adlam. In 2008 they developed a keyboard and non-standard font encoding based on Arabic. Finally in 2016, the Unicode standard added the Adlam script. But then what?

Fast forward to January 2018 for the 3rd Adlam Conference in Mamou and Labé, Guinea, where hundreds of children and adults excitedly cheered, sang, and applauded speech after speech. But this was not a political rally or a product launch or a sports event. They were celebrating their language, their alphabet, and literacy.

Come learn why this language and alphabet are "a big deal". Hear how the brothers Ibrahima and Abdoulaye Barry began Adlam, enduring prison, discouragement, and hostility. Learn how Unicode, fonts, and keyboards enable, but don’t guarantee, usability of a script. And get a glimpse of how modern language technology will support Adlam, "the alphabet that will save a people".


Craig Cornelius is a member of the International Engineering group at Google, Inc., working with the Google Search, Gmail, Google Translate, and other projects. He continues his work with the Cherokee Nation, and recently joined the Advisory Board of the Australian Research Council's Center of Excellence on the Dynamics of Language. He has held academic and industry positions over many years, but his Ph.D. in Chemistry has almost nothing to do with i18n.

Plus two special guests via video link!

Ibrahima and Abdoulaye Barry, brothers from Guinea in West Africa, are the creators of the Adlam alphabet for the Fulani and other African languages. They are members of the Winden Jangen Organization for the promotion of Adlam, and the North American Fulani and Friends Association (NAFFA), and currently live in Portland, Oregon.

Ibrahima Barry works on the Adlam alphabet, perfecting its style and design. He has written many books, including a comprehensive grammar and orthography book for the Fulani language, and he is also working on the first Fulani dictionary in Adlam. He holds a BS in Civil Engineering and Mathematics from Portland State University, and currently works for the US Postal Service.

Abdoulaye Barry is passionate about education and development issues in Guinea and how they relate to language. He is also doing research on the different Fulani dialects and has written or translated books on grammar, religion, short stories and current topics. He has a BS in Financial Management from the University of Conakry and MS in Financial Analysis from Portland State University, and works for the Public Utility Commission of Oregon.




January 18, 2017, 6:30-9:00 PM
(Networking 6:30-7:00 PM)

Translation Commons
Hosted by LinkedIn in Sunnyvale, CA

Photos: new page
Video: new page

Translation Commons is a nonprofit established to share tools, resources, and initiatives that unite the language community and encourage cross-functional collaboration. Translation Commons brings together the expertise of the world's language engineers, linguists, academics and professionals in programs to educate, support, and provide access to free translation and localization tools.

A self-managed volunteer community, Translation Commons aims to correct imbalances in the supply chain by endowing translators, interpreters and other localization professionals with the respect that they deserve. It fosters collaboration, responds to the needs of people using endangered and minority languages, and is targeted to the needs of language service professionals and students. In short, Translation Commons is bridging the gap between academia and industry.

In this presentation you will learn of all the diverse programs, projects and community working groups as well as a step by step demo of all the platform functionalities.

Jeannette Stewart is the founder of Translation Commons. She is also founder and former CEO of CommuniCare, a leading global translation company specializing in Life Sciences. Since selling CommuniCare she has actively participated in industry associations and conferences as lecturer and advocate for the language industry. She writes the "Community Lives" column in Multilingual Magazine on Language Community Initiatives. Jeannette has also served on the Board of Directors, moderated and volunteered in a number of educational and health charities in the US and the UK.

Jean Aurambault is a globalization engineer at Pinterest. He has over five years of experience working on localization platforms, starting at Yahoo!, Box and now Pinterest. As a full stack engineer, Jean has been working on building and integrating localization tools as well as driving internationalization efforts to deliver improved global products. He is the creator of Mojito, an open source platform for continuous localization, and a founding member of the Translation Commons Advisory Board.









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