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Exploring the Impact of Google Igbo in South East Nigeria

Omojola, Oladokun (2012) Exploring the Impact of Google Igbo in South East Nigeria. In: Cases on Developing Countries and ICT Integration: Rural Community Development. IGI Global, Hershey, pp. 62-73. ISBN 978-1-60960-117-1

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This chapter presents the impact of Google’s search engine on the lives of the native speakers of Igbo, a major language in South East Nigeria. As part of efforts to connect with those who rely on local languages for communication as distinct from their chief language of communication, English, the American company had floated a series of search systems for native speakers around the world, one of which is projected in, specifically for Igbo speakers. Google’s efforts are commendable because they offer a mechanism against the dearth and death of native languages, particularly for Igbo. Of the three major local languages in Nigeria, Hausa and Yoruba have managed to survive and flourish, while Igbo has been on the decline socially, culturally, and economically as speakers of the language would prefer Nigeria’s lingua franca – English. On Google’s Igbo website, natives are opportune to browse as well as look up sites on which search queries can be answered in the native language. A study of five age groups of the native speakers was carried out in a panel design to demonstrate the impact Google’s efforts have had on the lives of users. Case description was done from five expectation standpoints of the respondents– fundamental, training, conventional, personal, and contextual. According to findings, which correlate in all the perspectives, Google’s efforts are amounting to waste of Web resources. This is because visitors to the site often find that queries do not produce tangible results in the Igbo language, thereby making it impossible for the community to access Google, thus calling for re-strategizing not only on the part of Google, but also on the part of those who speak the language.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Depositing User: Dr. O. Omojola
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2018 15:51
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2018 15:51

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