Thursday December 13, 2018

Oxford University Press Launches Free Online Swahili Dictionary, to make content in different Languages available in Digital Platform

Swahili is the fourth African language to be added to the Oxford program, after Zulu, Northern Sotho, and Setswana

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A screenshot of the first online Swahili dictionary launched by Oxford University Press as part of a new digital global languages program, with a mission to extend learning and education worldwide, Dec. 7, 2016. VOA
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Nairobi, December 07, 2016:In 2015, Oxford Dictionaries launched a new digital global languages program, with a mission to extend learning and education worldwide. The company launched its first online Swahili dictionary by the Oxford University Press.

The objective of the Oxford Global Languages Initiative is to transform the experience of people worldwide by making content in different languages available in a digital platform, on websites, in apps, and in many different tools and services.

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In a video message delivered Wednesday at the launch of its online Swahili dictionary, Oxford Dictionaries director Judy Pearsall said one reason for putting together the Swahili versions is to help connect cultures across Africa.

“Swahili is an extremely important language across large parts of southeastern and eastern parts of Africa and spoken by millions of people…both as a mother tongue, but also as a second language, and very much a lingua franca across large parts of the country,” Pearsall said. “So it is bridging the smaller languages and connecting cultures.”

For the first time, large quantities of quality lexical information from Swahili have been systematically created, collected, and made available in a single linked repository, to speakers, learners, and developers.

Swahili is the fourth African language to be added to the Oxford program, after Zulu, Northern Sotho, and Setswana.

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The online dictionary has advantages over the printed Swahili dictionary said Oxford University Press in Kenya General Manager John Mwazemba.

“One of the things we grapple with, with printed books and the printed version of the dictionary, is that you need a few years to get a new edition, but an online dictionary gives us a unique opportunity of updating new words that come after they have been vetted,” he said.

“So we have user generated content, so if a user thinks there is a word that needs to be there, a Swahili word that is being used widely by people and it is not there, then it can move from being user generated to the platform after it has been vetted. So it is a quick turnaround. We do not need to prepare for one year to include a word,” Mwazemba added.

Digital communication across the globe is dominated by English and other global languages such as Chinese and Spanish.

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For Swahili speakers, the new initiative is a step toward developing the language for use across Africa. (VOA)

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USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA

Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

Also Read: Governments Across The World Request Apple for 30,000 Device Information

Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)