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Cluster of Excellence EXC 2052 - "Africa Multiple: reconfiguring African Studies"

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The Cluster launches App “African Alphabets of the Bayreuth Cluster” (AABC)


The Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence has developed an app for mobile and desktop devices providing users with keyboards for all common African languages and scripts.

From Adlam to Wolofal – the newly developed App “African Alphabets of the Bayreuth Cluster” – short AABC – gives its users the necessary keyboard characters for communicating in 44 African languages:

List of supported languagesHide
  • Adlam
  • Adlam Latin
  • Amharic
  • Amharic Latin
  • Arabic Latin
  • Arabic
  • Awngi Blin Xamtanga
  • Azerty
  • Bambara
  • Bamum
  • Bamum Latin
  • Bamum Unicode
  • Bassah Vah
  • Bassah Vah Latin
  • Bench
  • Dizi Me'en Mursi Suri
  • Ethiopian
  • Ge'ez
  • Ge'ez Latin
  • Harari
  • Ḥassānīya
  • Hausa
  • Coptic
  • Coptic modern
  • Luo
  • N'ko
  • Oromo Latin
  • Osmanya
  • Osmanya Latin
  • Pan-African
  • Pan-Nigerian
  • Qwerty
  • Qwertz
  • Sebatbait
  • Silt'e
  • Somali
  • Swahili
  • Taqbailit
  • Tifinagh
  • Tifinagh Latin
  • Tigrinya
  • Tigrinya Eritrean
  • Wolof
  • Wolofal

The app was developed by Cluster member Dr. Ulrich Rebstock and is a useful tool for scholars of African Studies. It may be downloaded directly from the Cluster website and then must be installed manually. The keyboard layouts consider the particular phonetic character variants and the respective Latin QWERTY-, QWERTZ-, or AZERTY-order. All characters are subject to their respective definition by Unicode and their adequate adoption by the system. Each keyboard consists of four pages that can be reproduced by a keyboard view on the screen. All keyboards can be used systemwide as well as offline, too. It is indicated if individual fonts or characters may be supported differently (or not yet at all) by the operating system in use and therefore cannot (yet) be displayed by the app.

It is still a work in progress though. For the necessary further development of the app users are invited to communicate their comments to Dr Ulrich Rebstock (Ulrich.Rebstock@uni-bayreuth.de). The interactive set-up is intended to harmonize cultural authenticity with scientific control of implementation and adjustment of the keyboard layouts. This also includes the selection and integration of language transcriptions and scripts for which hitherto already existing, or newly generated keyboard layouts are to be adopted. (sg)

  • For more information on how to download and install the app please click here.
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