Hashim M Twaakyondo, Kennedy Mwakisole


Different English software products are localized into many native languages spoken
around the world, the most popular software products localized so far are word processing
software and web browsers. The effort has begun to localize these software products in
Kiswahili language which is widely spoken in Tanzania, East and Central Africa. Kiswahili
is an official language of Tanzania, and is a national language in Uganda and Kenya. To
make these software products useful to Kiswahili speaking community particularly in
Tanzania a new Kiswahili spell checker has been developed and, it uses most of the
Kiswahili words spoken in Tanzania and its locale identity is sw-TZ for
and Mozilla Firefox while Kiswahili spoken in Kenya has a locale identity sw-KE which is
common for Microsoft office products. It was developed due to the shortcomings of first
ever Kiswahili spell checker developed by Open Kiswahili Localization Project
(KILINUX). A spell-checking tool called MySpell has been used in developing a new spell
checker. The dictionary of a new spell checker consists of 4894 stems and its affixes were
created based on Kiswahili noun classification system and by selecting different groups of
verb stems that follow the same trends in generating other Kiswahili valid words. This
paper addresses the shortcomings of the existing spell checker and the approach carried
out to develop a new spell checker.

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