finance & economy

Swahili Connection launches translation and localization services to international companies

April 14, 2021

With 100,000 native Kiswahili across East Africa, Swahili is becoming an increasingly important pan-African language. Swahili Connection is launching to help international companies translate their documentation into Swahili and open the doors to doing business across East Africa.

After English, Swahili is the most widely spoken language on the African continent. It is now an official language in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya, and it is widely used in Burundi, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique. Because of its unifying influence, Swahili was chosen as the primary language of the six East Africa Community (EAC) member states, and it has been adopted as an official language by the 53-nation African Union.

For any organization wanting to do business in Africa, communicating in Swahili is a must. That is why Swahili Connection has launched its translation and localization services to international companies, including producing marketing materials and writing content in Swahili.

Swahili Connection was established by Israeli translation company Our Best Words and Kenyan cyber-security company Secunets Technologies Ltd. The directors – FE King, Fredrick Wahome and Martin Ondu – met at a cyber-security conference in Tel Aviv and discussed their mutual interest in reviving native languages. “Israel had to reinvent Hebrew as a modern language and update its Biblical vocabulary for today’s world”, explains King. “I was fascinated to learn about Swahili and the work that Fredrick and Martin are doing to update their native language to describe modern phenomena like the internet. We decided to work together and recruit a team of expert translators who can help multinational companies do business in Swahili.”

Wahome remembers being punished in school for speaking his native language instead of English, and believes that today’s Swahili revival is reversing that prejudice. “I believe passionately that the Swahili renaissance can play a part in the expansion of pan-African technological development, and we can emulate the success of Israel as a startup nation with its own language revival history.”

Wahome is involved in several Kenyan projects to translate cyber security terms into Swahili, in order to help boost awareness of internet security in East Africa, and he also helped to translate the Kenyan Electoral Commission’s citizen handbook into Swahili.

The Swahili Connection partnership brings together Kenyan technology and Israeli translation management skills, to offer expert translation, localization and marketing writing services to multinational companies who want to develop new business opportunities in East Africa.

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