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YouTube now speaks IsiZulu and Afrikaans

By Ian Parsons and Mthokozisi Dlalisa

Afrikaans & Isizulu Specialists and Google South Africa

Cross posted from the Google Africa Blog.

For many Africans online, the Internet is something created by other people which we simply consume. We see this with many African languages that have a dominant presence offline (on radio, TV, newspapers), yet are underrepresented on the web today. Seeing your language appear on global services like Google Search, YouTube, or Gmail can help change that. Suddenly, you become part of the conversation.

Last November we launched YouTube in Kiswahili and Amharic with precisely this in mind. We soon began to see many people enjoying the new versions, and also saw an increase in searches, video uploads and comments in both languages.

Today, we are excited to release 2 more African language versions of YouTube - in Afrikaans and isiZulu.

YouTube home pages in Afrikaans and isiZulu languages

This is important for several reasons. First, the new language versions create awareness among new users who are not fluent in English and have not been able to fully enjoy or understand YouTube. Second, it’s a reminder of the great local content in both languages that is increasingly finding its way to YouTube in South Africa, a country blessed with creative talent - for a taste, sample and subscribe to MduComics, JusGorilla, Die Heuwels Fantasties, and Jack Parow. There’s a lot more out there. Lastly, YouTube in South Africa is already over a year old, and with YouTube views increasing by 175% in the past year, we were eager to introduce these new features on the local domain.

If you are a native Afrikaans or IsiZulu speaker, we invite you to join this celebration, and here’s how:
Ian Parsons & Mthokozisi Dlalisa - Afrikaans & IsiZulu specialists, Google South Africa, recently watched "Nicholis Louw - Baby Baby."

  • Visit At the bottom of the page, click on language and select Afrikaans or Zulu.
  • Upload a video!
  • Share it on Google+ or Twitter with #YoutubeIsiZulu or #YoutubeAfrikaans.