Babel Breaker Experiment to Solve 2000 African Languages Problem

Babel Breaker is an experiment by Andy Lee Graham to educate people who cannot read, by repeating a message, to breaking the confusion of tongues.

The Babel Breaker is being tested in Togo, West Africa

Works on the belief, that if we educate the children, we will educate the adults, and change the world.

Goal:  Diffusion of socially beneficial knowledge to cultures who cannot read, read a little, and often who speak different languages, building consensus by including everyone.

How do we help countries develop?

By sharing information, technology, books, education, and knowledge.

An example of social group we are targeting:

There are small villages in Africa, who speak their own language. A few of the people in the village with speak French, or English, however the general reading level is around third grade level. This is a tribal social network, with cultural rules to follow, whereby people are to give respect the elders, give respect, loyalty, and learn. There is often little, if any electricity, the problem is how to communicate, and share knowledge in a way that does not offend the culture.

What is the Babel Breaker?

It is a DVD player playing specially educational videos like "Sesame Street," or inspiring films like "Lion King." It plays for 5-8 hours per day, and every 5-8 minutes there a 15-60 second info-commercial telling extremely needed information for the community.

i.e. "Free mosquito nets are available at hospital."

This info-commercial is in the local language.

Literacy Map

Literacy Explained in Wikipedia

Problems we solve with Babel Breaker?

1. How to explain programs to illiterate groups?

2. To communicate to the 2000-3000 Languages in Africa?

3. Failure for group consensus because groups are not included.

4. How to give instructions to groups? For example, an expensive irrigation installed, and the locals needs to see a video instructions.

5. Stops problem of who is the boss problem. This is fun videos, therefore we can avoid personality conflicts, or who is the boss problems. This is for children, whereby the children explain to the adults.

6. The problem that poor cultures refuse to ask questions of rich people. This repeats the message, whereby solves the problem of cultural intimidation.

7. Stops problem of losing interest when someone tries to educate. This is fun, so the message is small, the fun is big. There will be no mockery when everyone is enjoying.

8. Solves the problem of training workers. The message can be created by the managers, and given to the locals without worries of changing the goal.

9. Solves problem of printing cost, and advertising cost. This is a one-time large purchase.

10. Stop the problem of telling wrong messages to locals. The message can be special to any village, there is no need to give blanket, country wide messages that are no applicable to a local group.

11. Finding the educational leaders problem. We need to find the people in villages who really care, they can contact us in secret, by email, by phone, and they do not need to alienate other members of the group.

12. Solves problem of, the did not read, or hear? The repetition can be so overwhelming that nobody can avoid.

13. Stop wasting money on blanket ads. This is specific, cost effective, and we can test proof of concept.

14. The problem that a solution cannot be proved? With this, we can prove that a message is delivered, that the locals have accepted it, and are implementing.

15. Angry adult, or angry leader problem. This is fun for children, so the adults are actually happy, they do not need to deal with their children. Sort of like a babysitter.


Films that We Can Use

1. Lion King
2. The littlest mermaid.
3. Asops Fables

Themes of Info-Commercials from Most Important to Least:

1. Accidents
2. How Malaria is caused
3. Plastic Bags

Classes We Can Teach in Local Language: The goal here is to teach information that is no easy to learn in the target country. 

1. Woodworking
2. Auto-Mechanics
3. Insulation
4. Making an electrical Generator
5. How to download books from Internet to read on smartphone?
6. How to measure electrical usage of different electrical devices?
7. Driving class.
8. English classes.

Babel Breaker being Used in Fight Against Malaria

Malaria has over 15 cures, therefore malaria is not a medical problem, it is 99 percent a cultural and behavior problem. Malaria kills the children of poor illiterate mothers, when the family does not understand, they delay treatment.

There can be free medicine, and the mother may not know because she cannot read.

African can be educated on how to prevent, the solutions, and become empowered by learning in their own language. To watch the recorded fun messages, not the written words on signs, in the video, and audio language of their native tongue we hope the locals agree.

To reach consensus when there are 3-7 languages in each village is confusing for the locals, nobody wish to admit, they do not understand.

How to stop the Babel, or break the Babel of many languages, and bring all of the the people the same message?

Examples of recorded message on Babel Breaker.

Free Medicine said in Kabye
Free Medicine said in French
Free Medicine said in Ewe 

More or less a recorded message they can hear in their language.

Simple message examples:

1. If the doctor prescribes vitamins, pain medicine and malaria, buy the malaria first, the other two are good, but you must buy the malaria medicine or die.

2. At sunrise, and sunset keep your baby under a mosquito net, this is when the mosquitoes are most dangerous.

3. Kids, kick the open water buckets to kill the eggs of mosquitoes.

4. Don't sleep in same room as person with malaria.


Babel Breaker

The Name Babel Breaker Explained:

In short, God spread the people, and made them speak diffrent languages.This box is to explain a message to many people who speak different languages

A story told in the Book of Genesis of the Bible. According to the story, a united humanity of the generations following the Great Flood, speaking a single language and migrating from the east, came to the land of Shinar where they resolved to build a city with a tower "whose top may reach unto heaven."

God came down to see what they did and said: "They are one people and have one language, and nothing will be withheld from them which they purpose to do." "Come, let us go down and confound their speech." And so God scattered them upon the face of the Earth, and confused their languages, so that they would not be able to return to each other, and they left off building the city, which was called Babel "because God there confounded the language of all the Earth". brl>

The narrative of the city of Babel is recorded in Genesis 11:1-9. Everyone on earth spoke the same language. As people migrated from the east, they settled in the land of Shinar. People there sought to make bricks and build a city and a tower with its top in the sky, to make a name for themselves, so that they not be scattered over the world. God came down to look at the city and tower, and remarked that as one people with one language, nothing that they sought would be out of their reach. God went down and confounded their speech, so that they could not understand each other, and scattered them over the face of the earth, and they stopped building the city. Thus the city was called Babel.

Etymology According to the Bible, the city received the name "Babel" from the Hebrew word balal, meaning to jumble.

Andy Lee Graham

Photos Babel Breaker Experiment to Solve 2000 African Languages Problem

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