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Award: Shortlist

Shortlist / Impact / Advertising / Brands / 2021

The UN estimates that two indigenous languages disappear every month. In South Africa alone, there are 11 officially recognised languages, and 2,000 across the African continent. And yet Autocorrect only recognises only one – English. Try texting in an indigenous language and words are often mangled beyond understanding – sometimes with hilarious results, but sometimes with more profound changes in meaning. Grey Advertising & WPP Team Liquid found a way to hack autocorrect to allow users to text in their indigenous languages, by simply downloading a .cfv file containing 500 of the most-used words in every language.

  • #DecoloniseAutocorrect

What did the judges have to say?

"Decolonise Autocorrect was casually personal for me. I have a pretty good relationship with my phone, but autocorrect never getting our Nigerian names and words right sometimes makes me want to bury my phone. I just loved how clever the solution was to a seemingly pedestrian yet very real and deep issue."

Damilola Marcus, Co-Founder, Art Director, Dá Design Studio