No matter if you’re poking around the internet in a haphazard fashion like me, or are out on a mission to use something specific, it seems that wherever you look, African language names are the newest and hottest names on the internet.
I’ve mentioned it before as it appears that well, people just need to branch out. Most internet names are taken and those that aren’t, just kind of suck. So, what is a rather untouched section of domain names? Why those derived from African language words. These things happen when the people speaking the languages only make up 1% of the internet users on the planet yet have about 1,000 in use on their continent.
So, just for the sake of amusement, I’d like to mention a few of these. I might bring it up again in the future as well, since I doubt that this phenomena is going to go away any time soon. I’m all ears for more suggestions.
They’re an online community for musicians to compose songs together through the internet by each person working on a track for a song. It’s a cool concept and similar to one that I was working with a team to build back in 1998, which ultimately failed. It’s good to see that others grabbed that baton, ran with it, and are doing quite well in the race.
Indaba is a Zulu word that invokes the spirit of collaboration and community. It refers to a gathering or a forum for sharing ideas, and it embodies concepts that are central to the mission of Indaba Music.
Now, this one is quite reasonable. It’s a group of Kenyans that created the initial system and they speak Swahili there. The fact that the system is all about witnessing events and reporting them via SMS makes a great deal of sense in the choice of the name, as well as the fact that it’s catchy.
…Ushahidi, which means “testimony” in Swahili, where we are building a platform that crowdsources crisis information. Allowing anyone to submit crisis information through text messaging using a mobile phone, email or web form.
It’s the only non-website one in this group and I chose this browser over safari.com as the later is just kind of hokey and the former shows that a large, American company is quite happy to co-opt a Swahili word for their product. To be honest, I’m not even that keen on this web browser, especially their “Resizable text areas.” that I find I usually need to disabled lest they make my web pages all screwy. I will gladly get in to my other gripes about this browser if anyone were to ask…
I could find no definition or catchphrase on the Apple website. Safari literally means, “trip” in Swahili. It gets overused in the English language to mean anything that you would wear or use on a trip to Africa, so saying you’re taking a “travel safari” sounds pretty goofy in reality. As to why Apple chose this name, I’m guessing it had to do with how it’s used in English and this browser allowing one to “travel the web”.
A pre-configured Linux configuration for the masses, this is a pretty darned cool project. For those not wishing to use Windows or the Apple OS, Ubuntu really is the legitimate alternative with a Zulu name. Of course, this is not to be confused with the restaurant that opened with the same name for some reason who are probably sitting around wondering why they never get anyone visiting their site who searches for ‘ubuntu’. As a future hint, don’t battle geeks who make the web work when you’re trying to come up with catchy names. (All your name are belong to us)
Ubuntu is an African word meaning ‘Humanity to others’, or ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’. The Ubuntu distribution brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the software world.
Conclusion for Now
On this White African Twit, Erik linked to one ‘mavi’ design which he was amused by. I’m guessing that the designer, Alex Chmura (who is Polish) doesn’t know that ‘mavi’ means ‘waste’ in Swahili. So it can get a little out of hand if you’re not careful with the ‘hot’ African words.