Let me introduce you to 3aransia, 3aransia is the name used in Morocco to qualify the texting style including digits into the words, those digits can be 3, 7, 9 for respectively ق, ح, ع and sometimes even 1 or 8 for ه,أ to represent Arabic letters and sounds. Sometimes it can be even other combinations of letters like kh that means خ.
This writing type or behavior is common for Moroccan people, specially for texting. One of our frequent discussions can be, as well Moroccans do, be like this:
- Salam, labass 3lik ?
- Oui Hamdolillah, ounta ?
- L7amdolillah, ta ana.
- Kayn chi jadid ?
- Ah, khdite tabla jdida.
- Mezian a sidi, Allah ykemel.
- Ewa, salamou3alaykom.
- Salamou Alaikom.
As we can see from this, there are so many lacks and challenges to overcome the meaning of such Moroccan discussion. This kind of messages represents more than 75% of our daily discussions. As we can see, A lot of things are going over here:
- The syntax is not unified (Hamdolillah, L7amdolillah)
- Each Moroccan has his own writing style
- You can’t translate those sentences anywhere
- This is not recognized by the internet (still, we use it every day)
- My Google Assistant read L7amdolillah LSevenAmdoulilah
- There is no set of rules governing this writing style
- There are thousands and millions of data written in this way
- There are communities who only use this Latin/Digit Moroccan Language to communicate
- There is no support for this L/D Moroccan language that has been used (at least for me) for more than 14 years.
- People use it because of the Latin keyboard as well as Moroccans we then to express ourselves with french and occidental words since some of us are also native french speakers, and we get to learn languages in schools. For example, we have this set of Oui, Non, Salut, Bye, Lol, Mdr, etc.
So as seen above, those challenges are to tackle and if it not today it will be done on another day. As I thought about this Idea Yesterday, after listening to my Google Assistant telling me numbers, letters and words from a messenger message from one of my best friends. It came up right after Google Assistant’s voice, why not to build a software support to my mother tongue ! Or my mother texting tongue !
So I have done some research on the internet about what has been developed so face toward those issues. I found NADA ! There is everything to build !
So as a software engineer, I started thinking: Let’s start solving this problem since I have the knowledge for it. And not only me, we can be a lot to have it and to make it fast.
I shared the info to my close network, including family, university, friends and developers. I was so excited that I even posted it on my social media including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I did it in the daytime of Monday. As soon the day was about to end, I was receiving tremendous positive feedback about the project.
The abstract was simple: Making the L/D Moroccan words understandable by the machines and the new technologies.
I shared a post in my network, in an informal way. It was an Instagram story. Screened and posted. Including a text explaining the idea and that I would like it to be open sourced as well as collaborative. As natural as it can seem.
So I took my Monday to read through interesting info about our beautiful language, with my previous modest knowledge, and started building.
The build of that evening was a successful initializer pack of 3aransia. Including domain name, social media accounts, the website, the web mail, collaboration platforms, the files, the design, documentation, the white papers and the tools to make it happen.
So as of today, Tuesday, everything was set up. I wrote a project launch message for the collaborators who joined me from my network. Most of them are passionate and driven. We started this morning with a group of 70 people in the messenger group, through the whole day, the interactions haven’t stopped. And remained 70 in the group. Few left, and few were invited. And those who left said that they are supporting the project even if they aren’t collaborating with us.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. 70 collaborators ! No one left !!
I have to admit that I am more of a start upper, was doing it since I turned 18, the legal age to do entrepreneurship in my home country. I have never, ever, ever, in my life worked with so many people in the same team. Even in the companies, we were always in teams. 4 or 5 at most. As a start upper people are really difficult to get because there are risks to take. So the team is really hard to make. So, yeah. My mind blew up when I have seen those statistics.
Every one of the collaborators was so reactive, I started with a project launch message followed by a set of 5 documents :
- The Glossary of 3aransia
- The 3aransia’s Road map
- The 3aransia’s Abstract
- A white paper about Moroccan dictionaries
- Another white paper Moroccan word nets
I had the whole day to work on this project. No Studies, No work to do, No Hackathons (participating in two of them this week by the way). I even skipped my reading time to work on it. Since I was already reading and writing so much.
I had to document everything. It’s a 70 collaborator’s project, how on earth I could think that the project was that big. The funniest part of it is, even the work to do is quite manageable.
I stayed home responding to messages, creating polls, hearing feedback, explaining the project, and welcoming new people !
What has impressed me is that we could reach 30 skills that can be applicable working on this project. From hard skills to soft ones. But mostly hard, let’s be honest about it. And those collaborators come from different backgrounds. And mostly not IT as well !
In those 70 collaborate we can find General Engineers, Doctors, Pharmacists, Developers, Enthusiasts, Business developers, etc.
Driven by curiosity and meaning, they stayed.
The most up voted skills are :
- 1 — Academic Skills
- 2 — Software Development
- 3 — Understanding the natural language
As the day 2 of 3aransia’s existence, it had a stable base of 70 collaborators, me backing it up with my previous knowledge, the 21st amazing technologies and a whole atmosphere of positivity. I see it really helping the people I wanted to help with this project and adding a solid brick to the Moroccan society.
This was my first Open Source project, I don’t think I will never forget about it. All this time being a programmer for the goal to acquire some useful knowledge has paid off. When you come to the point where thinking about building solutions makes them up. You get enlightened !
Specially for some little work that you can do to improve a whole lifestyle to a whole country. This is really relieving. I will get more and more involved into open source since it is really a great way to collaborate around projects globally. The collaborators are based in the 5 continents of this world. And we still could be synchronous. That is really something I wasn’t even expecting.
I got most support of my friends. Even those who have never touched a program. Asking me about Git and Markdown ! Even friends that live thousands of kilometers away from me.
We will definitely go on further work of 3aransia. I believe in our collaborators and in myself that we will make LDM an understandable language by the nowadays internet, and we can finally use it properly as we can, for example, to search Arabic, I would rather use my L/D Moroccan keyboard.
I am really happy to announce the successful launch of this project. And want to hear furthermore feedback about 3aransia and how you would approach this project.
The collaborations are still open and anyone can join, I will leave all contact and contribution below.
- Website : http://3aransia.com
- Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contribution : https://github.com/3aransia/3aransia/blob/master/CONTRIBUTING.md
Amine M. Boulouma
Founder and Maintainer at 3aransia