It’s no secret that many language tech is Anglo-focused (and specifically in predominately white countries in the West). Initiatives like Decolonise Science are working to improve standards for STEM workers in African countries and now there’s another project on the continent.
Igbo API is the world’s first African language API, aiming to change the Igbo language’s stature within computer science and linguistics “by making the process of learning Igbo more accessible to the Nigerian diaspora and beyond”. It’s an open source project and comes with the following features and accolades:
- Each word has at least one definition
- Some words come with further context.
- Diacritics convey different tones.
- Dialectic variations.
- 2,500 API requests allowed per day
- 8,103 words in the database
- 2,373 word audio pronunciations
- 1,871 standard Igbo words
- 1,231 words in Nsịbịdị
- 18 GitHub contributors
This is a masterstroke and I’m so happy it exists.