India’s StoryWeaver introduces first comic book as platform exceeds 15,000 titles in 200 languages

Part of India’s Pratham Books, StoryWeaver is the largest of a number of open-source platforms dedicated to providing free content in multiple languages, including indigenous languages most publishers have no interest in, aimed at school and pre-school children.

This month, runs a StoryWeaver announcement,

we have added more storybooks in languages like, Marwari, Surjapuri, Korku and Tibetan. We also added 80 stories across nine indigenous Mexican languages, and among them are stories in Chocholteco, which are the first written records to be published in this language in over a decade.

The stories are invariably short and often the same story translated into numerous languages by volunteers around the globe and made freely available. Artists are encouraged to submit illustrations which can be mix-n-matched by authors to create new stories, and the result is a splendiferous array of creative content that transcends geographical, linguistic and political boundaries..

StoryWeaver reports this week that,

The Ranchi Admin Office (Jharkhand, India) reached out to us recently, to collaborate with them to translate stories into indigenous languages like Kurmali, Sadri, Mundari and Kurukh.

The latest announcement also covers StoryWeaver’s first venture into comic books.

StoryWeaver’s first comic book, Making Friends with Snakes (But From a Distance), written and illustrated by wildlife cartoonist Rohan Chakravarty and published by Pratham Books, is now available in 7 Indian languages – Marathi, Hindi, Telugu, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil and Konkani. The book will soon be translated into Bengali and Odia too.

And from there a safe bet the comic will soon be appearing in other languages around the world.

Taking one example from the stories, Little Painters is an English language Level 1 story that has attracted over 8,000 reads and has been translated into 47 other languages. It’s available in 66 versions including silent read and a read along audio version where the words light up as spoken by the narrator.

StoryWeaver’s twitter feed (@PBStoryWeaver) is awash with new stories in new languages, and with a handful of exceptions all content on the site is licensed under a Creative Commons license (CC-BY-4.0) and sharing is actively encouraged.

StoryWeaver is a project that deserves much more time and space than I can manage today, and a topic I’ll return to again as we countdown the remainder of this UNESCO Year of Indigenous Languages.

As this post goes live StoryWeaver is showing 15,490 titles across 201 languages, that have been read more than 2.6 million times.

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