At least 200 languages have enough speakers to justify development of cellphone text systems, says Laura Welcher, director of the Rosetta Project of San Francisco`s Long Now Foundation, which was established `to creatively foster long-term thinking and responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years`.
`Technology empowers the poorest people,` she told the Journal.
Enabling a mobile phone set for a language, however, involves more than just printing letters on the number keys.
Keying in the message is cumbersome on a 12-key handset, requiring multiple taps on keys to select some letters. It is even harder in languages with more than the 26 letters of English.
Image: A man holds a placard outside the Immigration Department in Sydney on July 18, 2007, which refers to the infamous Australian cricketer Shane Warne`s mobile phone text messaging scandal, as activists called for the release of Indian doctor Mohammed Haneef, who had been charged in connection with failed car bomb attacks in Britain in June 2007.