Publishing in local and national languages

African languages, typography and digital tools

Consult here the training material produced by Denis Jacquerye, typographer (Dalton Maag Ltd), as part of the workshop on digital publishing and African languages, held in Conakry (Guinea Conakry) from 20-23 November 2017.

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"Publishing in African Languages : A Review of the Literature”, Hans M Zell, 2018

“Publishing in African Languages : A Review of the Literature”, by Hans M Zell, to read here !

This literature survey is an attempt to bring together some of the literature on an important and challenging, and one could well say neglected aspect of the African book sector, that of publishing in African languages, an area that greatly impacts literary production in many ways. It aims to make a small contribution to the ongoing debate about publishing of indigenous language materials, how the profile of indigenous language publishing might be enhanced – and how publishing in African languages could be conducted as a societally beneficial, sustainable, and profitable commercial activity.

Following an introductory overview of current publishing in African languages – and a discussion of its many barriers to success – it lists a total of 170 records, covering the literature (in English) published since the 1970s and through to early 2018. Fully annotated and/or with abstracts, it includes books, chapters in books and edited collections, reports, journal articles, Internet documents, theses and dissertations, as well as a number of blog postings.

To be published in African Research & Documentation. Journal of SCOLMA -The UK Libraries and Archives Group on Africa, no. 132, 2018.

© Hans Zell Publishing Consultants 2018

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The Challenges of the Promotion and Distribution of Books in African Languages, Conakry, November 2017

Read the “Conclusions of the Symposium on the Challenges of the Promotion and Distribution of Books in African Languages”, organized by Ganndal publishing in Conakry (Guinea Conakry), 27-28 November 2017.

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Recommendations on Digital tools and African languages, Conakry, November 2017

Read the conclusions and proposals formulated by publishers from Francophone Africa following the workshop organised by the Alliance on “Digital tools and African languages”, held in Conakry, in November 2017, thanks the support of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie and the partnership with the house publishing Ganndal.

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Local and national languages : What opportunities for publishing ?, 11 to 13 June 2013, Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso)

While many African languages exist, publishing in local languages is almost inexistent because of the inherited dominance of colonial languages. However, some publishing houses publish in local languages and by doing so reach an often isolated readership. To preserve texts, promote authors, and widely circulate ideas, some publishers wished to meet to facilitate a flow of translations from one African language to another, to develop bilingual or trilingual co-publishing projects – representatives of Africa’s linguistic diversity.

How can we implement these projects ? How can new technologies enable them ? From an inventory of publishing practices in national and local languages, carried out by participants especially for this workshop, publishers will propose collective editorial projects that could be implemented in the years to come with the support of the Alliance, amongst others. The creation of an African language book fair will also be at the heart of discussions : this fair could represent the next meeting opportunity for public authorities and lead to measures that promote learning and publishing in national languages.
Through sharing experiences amongst eight African publishers and input from various participants, the workshop’s issues include :
* raising public authorities’ awareness on the development of learning in national languages ;
* drafting practical proposals addressed to organisations working for the advancement of local languages ;
* formulating recommendations addressed to book professionals and advocating for the creation of a local languages book fair and the development of African language publishing projects.
This workshop is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

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