By Prof. Alcides Torres
Translation: Huber Melli
LibreOffice would be the first office suite translated to Guaraní, a native language from South America spoken by more than 6 million people in this sub-continent. Language is a fundamental tool though which we not only structure, process and understand the world around us, but also communicate and pass information from one generation to the next.
The access to technological tools is a highly significant implement for the development of the peoples. To be able to access information and tools in your mother tongue has a great impact in people’s lives and growth because it facilitates a more profound understanding of them, all of which open a way to a better appropriation and usage.
There is no language unable to grow along with its speakers, in order to express the constantly changing world and the progress of science and technology. What does exist is the prejudice and exclusion.
In a country with a vast majority of Guaraní speakers suffering the existent diglossia, by which Spanish is preferred by the Public administration, service providers, even for the State’s education policies, the translation of LibreOffice to Guaraní represents a turning point. First, because it shatters the bias that Native American languages cannot access areas of technology and Internet. And second, because it will contribute to the Guaraní´s reassessment, to raise the self-esteem of populations that for decades were limited in their capacity to grow and self-develop, as a consequence of a deficient education, using a language that were not even theirs, providing information irrelevant and disconnected to their reality.