Decolonise Science will employ translators to work on papers from AfricArXiv for which the first author is African, says principal investigator Jade Abbott, a machine-learning specialist based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Words that do not have an equivalent in the target language will be flagged so that terminology specialists and science communicators can develop new terms. “It is not like translating a book, where the words might exist,” Abbott says. “This is a terminology-creating exercise.”
The team at AfricArXiv is proud to announce that we are partnering with Masakhane to build a multilingual parallel corpus of African research from translations of research manuscripts submitted to AfricArXiv. Of the articles submitted, the teams at Masakhane and AfricArXiv will select up to 180 in total for translation.
“With the advancement of Natural Language Processing (NLP), it should be fairly easy for non-Indonesian [or African] speakers to understand articles written in Indonesian [or African local dialects]. Hence the burden to immediately use English as the main language of science could be lowered.”