Monday, May 3, 2010

Human Tool Making

A creole is a pidgin language adopted by natives of a region in place or addition to their native language and incorporating many local words and phrases.  If it gets used enough, it can become a lingua franca:  Hindi/Urdu, Bahasa and Swahili are successful lingua francas (as is English, which I'm sure began life as a creole of Low German, with Latin and Celtic incursions).  Apparently Facebook doesn't support Arabic script so Arabic speakers utilize the Roman alphabet to write Arabic.  Technically not a creole or lingua franca, more of a compu-franca.  It's kinda cool.  Some obscenities on the site (they don't like a band that doesn't like Islam).

Of more interest to me is how people take tools and technologies and adapt them to their use.  I suspect that none of the users took a class in Roman-Arabic script translation or consulted Roman-Arabic script dictionaries to participate  (I think they exist).  They took a communications tool that had utility for them and made it their own.  This demonstrates just how effective mobile technology linked to ubiquitous web services can be as tools for change when coupled with the ever adaptable human mind.

Now if I only could decode nouveau Arabic written in Roman script phonetically back into Arabic script so I can use my Arabic dictionary to find out what the heck they are saying.  Out on the Openwater.

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