Interviews coming soon!

    When I created this blog to go along with the Indigenous Tweets site, the idea was to share ideas about using and promoting our languages online.   One way I'm planning on doing this is by talking with people from different communities who are developing language technology, translating software or web sites, or using social media to revitalize their language.   A number of people have agreed to do this and I hope the first interview will be posted in the next few days!

    In the meantime, here are a few more site updates.   I've added eleven new languages since the last blog post, bringing the total to 82.  Here are the new ones:
    I also did a few video interviews about the site last week - I was on the Al Jazeera program "The Stream", the Brian Lehrer Show, and "Ciencia Salud Y Tecnología" on NTN24 (video link coming).  To keep up with the latest news, be sure to follow us on Twitter: @IndigenousTweet.


Some Milestones

   We've reached some milestones in the last week.   First, I've added 17 new languages to the site since the last update, so there are now 71 supported languages in all, more than twice the number we started with three weeks ago.  Again Michael Bauer helped with several of these, and I also had a number of people write to me after the BBC interview asking if I would support their language.    Here's the full list of new languages:

   Among these are our first indigenous Australian language (Gamilaraay, with 3 speakers according to Ethnologue) and two other critically endangered languages: Ainu (~15 speakers in Japan), and Nawat (~20 speakers, all older).  Thanks to Alan R. King who provided training data for Nawat and who is responsible for the first couple of tweets in that language.

   We also have a number of new translations.   The first round of translations came mostly from friends working on the Firefox localization teams.  Many of these new translations are directly from members of supported language communities on Twitter: Rumantsch (Gion-Andri Cantieni, @gionandri), Setswana (Sternly Simon, @talk2ras), Kɨlaangi (Oliver Stegen, @babatabita), Occitan (Maxime Caillon, @caillonm), Kernewek/Cornish (John Gillingham, @Bodrugan), Brezhoneg/Breton (Ahmed Razoui, @duzodu), and Nawat/Pipil (Alan R. King, @alanrking).    We also have a translation into Marshallese from Marco Mora, but no tweets in that language yet!

   One additional milestone.  The site is generated by using a program that "crawls" Twitter users, grabbing the tweets on their timeline and performing statistical language recognition on those tweets (details to come).   Then, if a given user has more than a certain fraction of their tweets in the target language, that user's followers are added to a queue to be checked in the same way.    In the last couple of days, the initial crawls for Basque and Welsh were completed, meaning all languages, with the exception of Haitian Creole, are now complete.   Therefore the number of users currently listed for each language should represent a good initial estimate of the total user base on Twitter.  Of course the program will continue to add new users as they are discovered by the crawler (through random search queries for words in each language) and as they are suggested via the form on each language page on IndigenousTweets.com.

   Haitian Creole is a special case and will remain so.  As noted in an earlier post, we expect there are at least 100,000 people tweeting in Creole and it is unlikely I can keep up with all of them given the limits imposed by Twitter, but I will do my best.

   Next milestone: 100 languages!


Interview on BBC World Service

   Last week I recorded an interview with Gareth Mitchell who presents the BBC World Service's radio show "Click" (and who I discovered to be a Welsh speaker during the interview).   That show aired earlier today and is available now as a podcast from the BBC web site.

   There have also been several newspaper articles and blog posts about Indigenous Tweets over the last couple of weeks; I'm really happy about all the attention the site's been getting, particularly the interest that's been shown by the indigenous language communities it's meant to serve - thanks everyone!

   In particular, here's an article in Hebrew by Oded Yaron from the Haaretz newspaper, one in Russian by