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Zimbwawean startup Bhala launches mobile virtual keyboard for African languages.

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Bhala has launched a mobile virtual keyboard that uses machine learning and state of the art deep learning models to improve the experience of writing in African languages.

Launched in January, Bhala is the first intelligent African language keyboard and stickers app designed for Africans and African languages. Bhala enables tens of thousands of users each day write quicker, faster and more accurately by learning their writing style.

Director of operations Njabulo Sandawana claims Bhala has more accurate autocorrect and predictions than any comparable app on the market, including those Google’s G board and Microsoft’s SwiftKey.

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In addition, Bhala also works as a spell-checker and offers predictive text by auto-complete and word prediction. Bhala is also the first app to offer Ndebele ,Shona, Swati, Swahili, Xhosa ,Zulu spell-checkers online with more coming soon .The use of advanced NLP(Natural Language Processing) makes Bhala far superior than existing local spell checkers.

African languages are largely underrepresented in the digital world. Bhala’s technology covers 200,000,000+speakers of Bantu languages.

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Bhala   provides a fast and simple layout for its users. Additionally, Bhala uses the latest artificial intelligence to improve the users writing experience. The startup never collects sensitive and personally identifiable information thus assuring clients of their data privacy.

The startup is committed to providing technology that enables users to communicate effectively, efficiently as well as improving their user mobile device experience.

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The self-funded platform currently has more than 10,000 downloads, and has already become one of the top free apps in Zimbabwe and eSwatini. Bhala plans on extending to include more countries. The goal is to bring Bhala’s language technology to the entire continent.

Bhala aims at growing as fast as possible by onboarding as many users as possible and on constantly improving for the benefit of its users.

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Weddy Thuranira
Weddy Thuranira
Weddy profiles new startups and innovators across Africa and announces funding rounds, mergers, acquisitions and startup partnerships across Africa. She is based in Nairobi, Kenya. Reach her and the entire news desk at [email protected]

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