Crowd-sourced Technical Texts can help Revitalise Indian Languages
Paper in proceedings, 2018

Many Indian language (IL) speakers use English words for all STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
concepts, however elementary, ignoring the STEM vocabulary in IL textbooks up to high-school. People assume English is
necessary, and ILs are unfit, for STEM and higher education generally. English and STEM competence also mark wealth,
so parents now abandon first language (L1) schools for often woeful “English” ones even at primary level. So children learn
everything poorly: L1, English and content. To reverse this collapse, people need to use L1 more broadly. This paper calls
for IL STEM texts, crowd-sourced from STEM-trained IL-speakers, to seed such usage. We note how the texts would fit
in the linguistic landscape. They would also be important new data for computational linguistics. STEM-trained people
with rusty L1 writing, like us, will find that with the dictionaries and text online, they can write in L1—we comment on
vocabulary and help from related languages. Crowd-sourced texts vary in quality, but they can help people to use L1 for
STEM topics, and to realise that children learn content better in L1 than in bad English.

STEM

translations

crowd-sourcing

Indian languages

Author

K V S Prasad

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Functional Programming

Shafqat Mumtaz Virk

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Computing Science (Chalmers)

Miki Nishioka

Osaka University

C. A. G. Kaushik

11-16

LREC 2018 Workshop “WILDRE4-4th Workshop on Indian Language Data: Resources and Evaluation”,
Miyazaki, Japan,

Areas of Advance

Information and Communication Technology

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Language Technology (Computational Linguistics)

General Language Studies and Linguistics

Specific Languages

Learning and teaching

Pedagogical work

More information

Latest update

6/19/2018