App developer and techie Josny Severe favors a technology-friendly Haiti, and he want to make sure that Haitian Creole speakers are not left out of the equation. To that end, he’s started a Haitian Creole hashtag #TiKozeSouTeknoloji to encourage Haitian Creole speakers around the world to take part in native language-centered discussions about tech, apps, and emerging technology.
Kreyolicious: I think it’s cool that you started a technology hashtag, and one in Creole at that! Please explain why? And also how you came up with it!
First of all, I want to thank you for this opportunity given to me to talk about #TiKozeSouTeknoloji, which I started on Twitter not too long ago. It[‘s turned out to be] so important for many that I had to change it [from mere hashtag to an actual] vlog this February. We all know that in Haiti we have two languages French and Creole. But at the same time, it’s crystal-clear that Creole is the most spoken language in the country at every level of daily activities. And as we all know, people learn better when they are being taught in a language that they’ve mastered. Tech terms are being mystified in Haiti, which lead [some] people to be afraid of anything related to this field. So one day, while I was tweeting about a technology [topic], I told myself why not come [up] with something that would help people understand technology [better]. [This way,] these concepts can be demystified, and help them have a better use of it, therefore it is actually everywhere in their entire life.
Kreyolicious: What has the feedback been for the chats?
So far, so good! Since we’ve just started, we are identifying our audience and manage to reach as many people possible. It is important that a great majority get access to the content so the purpose which is educating our people about technology can be reached.
Kreyolicious: And how do you determine what to discuss during the weekly segments?
As for the choice of the weekly [topics], it is like math. We can not talk about multiplication without understanding the basics which are addition and subtraction. So, we start with a series of the basic terminology before we land in more complicated subjects like artificial intelligence, internet of things, to name only these two.
Kreyolicious: Why do you think it’s important to get the youths of Haiti and others engaged in technology?
From simply chatting, sharing media on social networks, banking, and easing [the] process at work, to study, technology is involved in every single aspect of our life in this century. There is no way you can escape the use of technological tools in 2017. But, here in Haiti, we have this issue of invading new stuff coming abroad without really understanding them. On one hand, we [either] misunderstand and misuse them. Or, we just stay away from them. [Meanwhile,] in terms of geopolitics, everyone around us are moving with the era—the Information Era. A simple example: I went to study software engineering in Dominican Republic in 2005. At [that point,] an automated teller machine—ATM—was not a big deal for the Dominican people. So, how can it still be a big deal here in Haiti for clients to use them properly? [And why do] the banks [tend] to advertise them like they’re [the most] high-tech stuff ever to be available to the clients, when we know ATM has been around since the 80s? So, it’s important that we shake [things] up a little bit, get to learn and share the knowledge in the easiest way possible so [that] everyone can understand—no matter his or her background.
This concludes Part I of the interview…Be sure to watch out for PART II.
[Main photo credit: Samuel Dameus]
CLICK HERE to keep up with Josny Severe and his discussions regarding #Yontikozesouteknoloji!