A $5 calling card absolves one of the arduous task of hand-writing letters to relatives in rural areas of Fouta Djalon. More so, the $5 eliminates the incentive for Haal-Pular millennial adults (current 20-/30-somethings) to practice writing in Fula-Ajami, much less teach their children how to write a letter to their suburban grandparents.
It therefore seems not far-fetched to think that Fula-Ajami will lose the battle of scripts to keyboard-ready, Latin-based scripts — the ubiquitous script of the Internet. To back this up, one need not look any further than the Dudhe, the nights-and-weekends Islamic schools for Haal-Pular young adults. At the risk of upsetting their instructors, students who cannot commit to memory the Fula translations of their Arabic texts feel more comfortable jotting down the translations using Latin-based transliterations than using an un-canonized Fula-Ajami.
In an effort to conserve the Haal-Pular heritage and be competitively positioned in an ever-changing world, the Haal-Pular community has to devise systems that will
- Provide Haal-Pular children of millennial parents a well-rounded education that is inclusive of Arabic, Fula, and Western European/secular education
- Encourage and incentivize Millennial Haal-Pular adults to study Fula even at a later age
- Devise a script that renders the various dialects of Fula mutually intelligible to all 25 million native speakers along the dialect continuum
- Provide a practical, minimalist approach to teach Fula to non-native speakers to extract the most value out of international transactions — social, cultural, and financial