Native speakers of the indian language Aymara of Peru and Bolivia will soon be able to use the social networking site Facebook in their own language, in Aymara.
According to Peruvian daily La Republica, an online community based in Bolivia, called Jaqi-Aru, has been working for more than 2 years now to translate over 24,000 words on Facebook into Aymara.
The translation is now about 60% complete and it seems that Facebook programmers have confirmed they need 90% of the words to be translated for the Amayra language to be officially named as a language option on Facebook.
Ruben Hilaria, the official coordinator of the project and director of Jaqui-Aru, estimates the project will be finalized by September this year.
“The translation is done directly between English and Aymara, without using Spanish as a bridge,” said Ruben Hilaria.
Jaqi –Aru has more projects because it is their aim to promote the use of the Aymara language on the internet in general, not only Facebook. Jaqi-Aru’s other projects include working with Wikipedia to increase the number of articles on the Aymara version of online encyclopedia.
In December 2011, there were about 1,600 articles available on the Aymara version of the Wikipedia while at the same time there were 3.8 million Wikipedia articles in English and more than 850,000 in Spanish.
There are roughly two million Aymara-speaking people in the world. They live in southern Peru and the Lake Titicaca area, Bolivia, and parts of northwest Argentina and northern Chile. Bolivia is the country with the largest percentage of Aymaran people, they are the largest ehtnic group after the
Quechua people; the Bolivian president Evo Morales, is an Aymara.