Roskomnadzor blocked the Bashkir online library Kitaptar

It is an official statement of the site administrators regarding the blocking

Yesterday our Russian users started complaining that the website of the online library was not working. For foreign users and those using VPN, the site continued to be available. On March 16th, Roskomnadzor sent a notification eais#2239793 about the need to delete a page from one of the books, namely: Berdin A.T. “On the Tatar-Bashkir ethno-social symbiosis” (the title of the book quotes the name of a banned book, which we cannot publish in order to avoid the subsequent illegal blocking of this site).

For the whlie, we created a temporary mirror of the site:

On the page of the Roskomnadzor register of prohibited information, the decision of the Gorodishchensky District Court of the Penza Region No. 2-37 dated February 22, 2008 is indicated as the reason for blocking. Here it would help if you immediately draw your attention to the fact that in 2008 neither the Kitaptar library nor the mentioned article by A.T. Berdin. We assume that the decision specifies the banned book itself under No. 130 in the list of prohibited materials of the Russian Federation.

As for the material itself, which Roskomnadzor did not like, it itself is not yet on the list of prohibited materials. It is also ironic that in it Azat Tagirovich Berdin, a well-known scientist in Bashkortostan and a specialist in interethnic and interfaith relations, criticizes this book, recognized as banned in the Russian Federation.

The Kitaptar online library was created in 2014 and is an important resource for the Bashkir-speaking audience. A website was developed by  a group of volunteers from the Bashkir Projects community, who themselves scan and publish books in the Bashkir language about the Bashkirs and Bashkortostan. About 60,000 people visit the website every year. The site is a non-commercial project and supports volunteers at its own expense.

At the moment, we have sent an official appeal to Roskomnadzor stating that the material has been removed, that the blocking itself was made erroneously and illegally. If the resource is not unblocked within the legal timeframe, we intend to file a complaint against the illegal actions of Roskomnadzor employees.

How an Android keyboard helps save obscure languages around the world

By Erik Crouch
Source: Techinasia

Photo credit: Un Bolshakov.

The Republic of Bashkortostan is a region a bit larger than South Korea. It’s part of the Russian Federation, nestled near the Kazakhstan border.

And until recently, its residents had a hell of a time using smartphones.

The Bashkir language has around 1.5 million speakers. The language is distinct from Russian – it has Turkic roots – but its speaking population is small enough that it’s easily forgotten by keyboard programmers.

“In 2009 a Bashkir keyboard layout was included [in the] official package of Windows Vista. It was a great achievement,” says Rail Salimov, who may be one of the few people to look back fondly on Windows Vista. A chemist and language advocate, Rail works with a 40-person group of Bashkir speakers looking to bring their language into the digital age.

Continue reading How an Android keyboard helps save obscure languages around the world

About the Terminology project

Friends, we invite you to take part in a new project on the creation and translation of Bashkir terminology!

We’ve been working in Google Docs, but its inconvenience was clear from the start. Considering that the Terminology project was just an auxiliary for a large VK translation project, we decided not to pay attention to the problem. Then we tried to find specialized translation software, but we couldn’t.

A year ago, we came up with the idea of creating such a system, and work began in August. After the system architecture was chosen, the design project started, with the most difficult stage, programming and development, starting in September. We are very pleased to show you the first version of the project!

The system has two sides. The external side is open to the whole world, every internet user, and only moderated terms are visible. The internal side – the translation interface – is a workspace for translators and administrators. Main capabilities: adding new terms in several languages, attaching multiple translations to each term, and the ability to vote and comment for each translation.

Initially, you can work in four directions: English-Bashkir, Bashkir-English, Russian-Bashkir, and Bashkir-Russian, with new languages to be added in the future.

There are still many bugs on the website, and many places for improvement. We currently consider its status as beta. We hope for your help in improving it. If you found an error, please write it in the project’s bug tracker:

Register, participate, and promote the Bashkir language!

Idel Utyabaev, Ildar Kinyabulatov