Information access in indigenous languages : a case study in Zulu

  • Erica Cosijn Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria
  • Ari Pirkola Department of Information Studies, University of Tampere
  • Theo Bothma Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria
  • Kalervo Jšrvelin Department of Information Studies, University of Tampere

Abstract

This study focuses on the intellectual accessibility of information in indigenous languages, using Zulu, one of the main indigenous languages in South Africa, as a test case. Both Cross-Lingual Information Retrieval (CLIR) and metadata are discussed as possible means of facilitating access and a bilateral approach combining these two methods is proposed. Popular CLIR approaches and their resource requirements are analysed and the dictionary-based approach combined with approximate string-matching for query translation from Zulu to English are discussed in detail. Metadata formats for knowledge representation from the Indigenous Knowledge (IK) viewpoint are discussed, in particular the advantages and limitations of the Dublin Core (DC) metadata format.
Published
2013-03-17
Section
Research Articles