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Who Runs Kamusi

Archived Page

This is a page from the Kamusi archives. The information below may be out of date, and the links may no longer be valid. Please visit for current information. If you know of links or information on this page that can be updated, please let us know.

Who runs the Kamusi Project?

The Kamusi Project Internet Living Swahili Dictionary is jointly run by Kamusi Project International and Kamusi Project USA, non-profit organizations respectively incorporated in Switzerland and Delaware.

The project spent its first 12 years as a part of the Council on African Studies at Yale University. In 2007, the Kamusi Project was spun off from its academic incubator, and is no longer affiliated with Yale. In 2013, the project was invited to spin into the Distributed Information Systems Laboratory (LSIR), directed by Dr. Karl Aberer at EPFL in Switzerland, where it maintains its academic home.

Computer programming is led by Greg McKeen of Telamenta, a South African small enterprise.

The project was conceived by the editor, Martin Benjamin, when he was a graduate student in anthropology at Yale. He and Dr. Ann Biersteker together prepared the project as a formal proposal in 1994. In December 1994 the project received initial support from the Yale Language Consortium Committee, the local arm of the eleven-university (Brown, Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, MIT, Penn, Princeton, Stanford, and Yale) Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning. The full Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning then provided the Kamusi Project with a grant for graduate student staff from the summer of 1995 until 1997. In 1997 we received a three year grant from the United States Department of Education International Research and Studies program, and in 2003 we were awarded another two year grant. In 2008 we received a three year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to begin our multlingual work, with a focus on Kinyarwanda.

Dr. Joe Rodrigue was the project's lead computer programmer from 1998 through 2003, followed by Andrew Smith through 2006. Paa Kwesi Imbeah at in Ghana subsequently led the project's computer programming, with support from Arthur Buliva in Kenya and Appfrica in Uganda. Project programming moved to Translate House in South Africa in 2010 before settling at Telamenta.

Dr. Benjamin now runs the Kamusi Project full time, with the titles of Executive Director of Kamusi Project International, CEO of Kamusi Project USA, and Senior Scientist at EPFL.


Kamusi GOLD

These are the languages for which we have datasets that we are actively working toward putting online. Languages that are Active for you to search are marked with "A" in the list below.


•A = Active language, aligned and searchable
•c = Data 🔢 elicited through the Comparative African Word List
•d = Data from independent sources that Kamusi participants align playing 🐥📊 DUCKS
•e = Data from the 🎮 games you can play on 😂🌎🤖 EmojiWorldBot
•P = Pending language, data in queue for alignment
•w = Data from 🔠🕸 WordNet teams

Software and Systems

We are actively creating new software for you to make use of and contribute to the 🎓 knowledge we are bringing together. Learn about software that is ready for you to download or in development, and the unique data systems we are putting in place for advanced language learning and technology:

Articles and Information

Kamusi has many elements. With these articles, you can read the details that interest you:

Videos and Slideshows

Some of what you need to know about Kamusi can best be understood visually. Our 📽 videos are not professional, but we hope you find them useful:


Our partners - past, present, and future - include:

Hack Kamusi

Here are some of the work elements on our task list that you can help do or fund:

Theory of Kamusi

Select a link below to learn about the principles that guide the project's unique approach to lexicography and public service.

Contact Us

We welcome your comments and questions, and will try to respond quickly. To get in touch, please visit our contact page. You must use a real email address if you want to get a real reply!

© Copyright ©

The Kamusi Project dictionaries and the Kamusi Project databases are intellectual property protected by international copyright law, ©2007 through ©2018, under the joint ownership of Kamusi Project International and Kamusi Project USA. Further explanation may be found on our © Copyright page.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.


Discussion items about language, technology, and society, from the Kamusi editor and others. This box is growing. To help develop or fund the project, please contact us!

Our biggest struggle is keeping Kamusi online and keeping it free. We cannot charge money for our services because that would block access to the very people we most want to benefit, the students and speakers of languages around the world that are almost always excluded from information technology. So, we ask, request, beseech, beg you, to please support our work by donating as generously as you can to help build and maintain this unique public resource.


Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to general questions you might have about Kamusi services.

We are building this page around real questions from members of the Kamusi community. Send us a question that you think will help other visitors to the site, and frequently we will place the answer here.

Try it : Ask a "FAQ"!

Press Coverage

Kamusi in the news: Reports by journalists and bloggers about our work in newspapers, television, radio, and online.

Sponsor Search:
Who Do You Know?

To keep Kamusi growing as a "free" knowledge resource for the world's languages, we need major contributions from philanthropists and organizations. Do you have any connections with a generous person, corporation, foundation, or family office that might wish to make a long term impact on educational outcomes and economic opportunity for speakers of excluded languages around the world? If you can help us reach out to a potential 💛😇 GOLD Angel, please contact us!