If your mother tongue isn’t English, you’ll have discovered that colonialism is alive and well and living in our phones, and it’s killing our indigenous languages. How is it that Autocorrect has no problem recognising a sentence like “The bourgeoisie acquiesced in bequeathing their paraphernalia to the fascists”, but try typing in “Abrazos para ti” and before you can prevent it, Autocorrect has turned it into “Abrasive parade today.” This is a particularly acute problem in South Africa, where our Constitution recognises eleven official languages and our phones only recognise one.
Savanna Cider is a proudly South African cider that’s much loved for its unapologetic crisp witty commentary on the ironies of South African life. They declared “We’re tired of ducking Autocorrect forcing South Africans to speak English”, and set out to liberate people’s phones through a simple hack. Simply go to the Savanna website, download a file in the language of your choice, save it to your Contacts, and vóila. A contact file takes up little space on your phone and can contain an unlimited number of words. Because Autocorrect recognises words saved to your Contacts and doesn’t correct them, saving a Contact file with the 500 most used words in a language automatically “teaches” your phone that language. No more Autocorrect snafus. No more being forced to use someone else’s mother tongue.
“Shosholoza” is an Nguni song that was sung by the mixed tribes of miners mining gold in South Africa.. It was sung by all-male African workers that were working in the South African mines in a call and response style. The song is so popular in South African culture that it is often referred to as South Africa’s second national anthem. We re-wrote it to according to autocorrect.