This is the localisation, language & ICT profile for Tanzania.
For the TZ-L10n wikigroup, click on the flag.
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No language defined as official in constitution, but English and Swahili are de facto official languages.
Apparently no legal status for languages [verify].
Ethnologue lists 127 living languages at http://www.ethnologue.com/show_country.asp?name=TZ
The site L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde has a page on Tanzania at http://www.tlfq.ulaval.ca/axl/afrique/tanzanie.htm
Five institutions "involved in or responsible for African Language research" in Tanzania (UNESCO 1985). Updated information is needed:
UNDP (2006) gives a literacy figure (without reference to which language[s]) of: 69.4%. Swahili literacy was higher during the 1970s as a result of rural literacy campaigns and Universal Primary Education (UPE). However, UPE was abolished in the 1990s in response to IMF structural adjustment mandates, and literacy rates began to drop. Tanzania reimplemented free primary education in about 2003, and school enrollment rates increased immediately and dramatically, but it is too early to document the effect on literacy rates. English is mandatory for secondary and tertiary education, available to less then 10% of students who complete primary school.
The Latin alphabet is used.
Before colonisation, Swahili was written in the Arabic script. Many old manuscripts exist in the Arabic/ Ajemi script, but few people are able to read those texts. Written Swahili dates back about 400 years.
Swahili is a thriving language in books and newspapers.
Most daily newspapers in Tanzania are published in Swahili, with wide distribution in urban areas. Major Swahili newspapers include:
Several publishing houses print books in Swahili, both school textbooks and popular titles. These include:
Swahili has a substantial internet presence.
Major websites written in Swahili, many containing vibrant discussion forums, include:
Many blogs are written in Swahili, including:
"Only 6% of households in Tanzania have access to phones, of which almost 90% are in Dar es Salaam. About three-quarters of household phones are fixed lines, while the rest are mobile phones dedicated for household usage. ...
"The study found that mobile most effectively services the country, with 10% of all Tanzanians owning mobile phones. Most mobile phone owners, however, are found in urban areas, with 17% of the population in Dar es Salaam owning mobile phones, 10% in other urban areas and only 4% of the rural population, despite the vast majority of Tanzanians living in rural areas. It is noteworthy that almost all mobile phone owners use pre-paid accounts (99%).
"Payphone usage is surprisingly low, considering the poor access to both fixed and mobile phones. However, there are very few payphones outside the major urban areas, and where they do exist, they seldom work." (Towards an African e-Index)
Access to mobile telephones is increasing rapidly. Many rural areas are reached by cellular signals, leading to many telephone micro-enterprises. Therefore, individuals in much of the country can make or receive phone calls when necessary, even without owning their own handsets.
SMS text messaging is extremely common, as it is cheaper and often more reliable than voice telephone calls. An evolving Swahili SMS argot is widely used.
Several radio stations broadcast in Swahili, mostly from Dar es Salaam, Arusha, and Mwanza. BBC broadcasts their Swahili service on the FM band in Dar es Salaam. Radio stations jnclude:
"Access to the Internet and computers is extremely limited. Only 2% of people in Tanzania have email addresses, and most of those live in Dar es Salaam. More than three-quarters of those who have an email address use free public accounts.
"Only 2% of all households in Tanzania have a computer – all in urban areas. Even then, a mere 15% of the few households with working computers are connected to Internet, and they almost exclusively live in Dar es Salaam. In general, there is negligible Internet penetration in Tanzania." (Towards an African e-Index)
The APC page, "ICT Policy in Tanzania" has some information and links: http://rights.apc.org/africa/test.shtml?apc=s21848e_1
(See also specific language pages.)
Software in Swahili includes:
(See also specific language pages.)
The Tanzania Linux Users Group (tzLUG) is also working on localization http://linuxgroup.co.tz/
APC, "ICT Policy in Tanzania," Africa ICT Policy Monitor, http://rights.apc.org/africa/test.shtml?apc=s21848e_1
Balancing Act Africa. 2005. African Internet Country Profiles, Part 2, East Africa. London: Balancing Act. http://www.balancingact-africa.com/profile2.html
International Telecommunications Union (ITU). 2006. World Information Society Report 2006. Geneva: ITU. http://www.itu.int/osg/spu/publications/worldinformationsociety/2006/wisr-web.pdf
______. 2004. African Telecommunication Indicators 2004. Geneva: ITU.
Internet World Stats: Africa. 2006. http://internetworldstats.com/africa.htm
Leclerc, Jacques. L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde, "Tanzanie," http://www.tlfq.ulaval.ca/axl/afrique/tanzanie.htm
Maho, Jouni Filip, and Bonny Sands. 2002. "Web-appendix to The languages of Tanzania: a bibliography. (publ. in the series Orientalia et africana gothoburgensia, v 17, 2002)." http://www.african.gu.se/tanzania/weblinks.html
Ngalinda, Innocent, and Beda Mutagahywa. 2005. "Tanzania." In Gillwald, Alison (ed.), Towards an African e-Index: Household and individual ICT Access and Usage Across 10 African Countries. (Research ICT Africa!, http://www.researchictafrica.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=504 )
SIL International, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, "Languages of Tanzania," http://www.ethnologue.com/show_country.asp?name=TZ
UNDP. 2006. ''Beyond scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis. Human Development Report 2006.'' New York: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). [Human development index Adult literacy rate (% ages 15 and older) (HDI) http://hdr.undp.org/hdr2006/statistics/indicators/3.html ]
UNESCO Regional Office for Education in Africa. 1985. African Community Languages and Their Use in Literacy and Education: A Regional Survey. Dakar: UNESCO.
Vodafone. 2005. "Africa: The Impact of Mobile Phones." The Vodafone Policy Paper Series, Number 3, March 2005. http://www.vodafone.com/assets/files/en/GPP%20SIM%20paper.pdf
Wikipedia, "Tanzania," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanzania
______, "Tanzania," http://sw.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanzania