THE LANGUAGES OF MICROSOFT.

Paul Goyette of locussolus has an interesting post on Microsoft’s releasing Windows in Welsh and other languages:

The point here is that taking local cultural and political realities into account can be good business, and that’s what’s going on with Windows in Tamil or Welsh. When they put it in Lakota or Jaqaru, then we can talk about linguistic diversity…

Comments

  1. What, no Cornish or Klingon?

  2. A related (but outdated) and amusing article:
    War of Words
    I do believe they are making an Icelandic version now. Not sure if it is sponsored by Microsoft officially or not though (or if indeed it can be done unofficially). But quite amusing anyway :)

  3. Microsoft has got a lot better about supporting smaller languages (oh, yes they are!) ever since Linux became more of a threat on the desktop, since Linux projects (esp. the Gnome and KDE desktops) can often round up a handful of volunteers to do the translations.
    And that holds as good for Lakota as it does for Welsh, of course. (Although Linux I18N still has some rough edges if you want to type all languages at once, which I do.)

  4. aldiboronti says:

    Maybe they’ll do a better job with Icelandic this time!
    “Microsoft translated Windows 98 SE to Icelandic in the year 2000 and it was notorious for its blue screens and bad translation.”
    From:
    http://winxp.bink.nu/DesktopModules/ArticleDetail.aspx?ArticleID=1448

  5. Yeah, the old attempt at an Icelandic version was a flop. Something to do with the fact that only a couple of days after the Icelandic release, Microsoft released a patch that overwrote much of the translation, so it became an incoherent mixture of the two languages.
    Oh yeah, and tips about switching between languages in Linux would be very much appreciated :)

  6. Oh yeah, and tips about switching between languages in Linux would be very much appreciated :)
    What I do these days is set my $LC_CTYPE to “en_GB.UTF-8″ and use Gnu Emacs 21.3, which has much improved Unicode support, and use its many input methods.
    Before that I used to have iso-latin-1 entry in X generally, but that has died in the switch. X is a dog, so I despair of finding or writing a sane multi-script front-end processor.

  7. What would really help is if Microsoft would be a little more forthcoming about what they are doing, so developers working in less-commonly-taught languages know whether the can work with the Microsoft tools or in spite of them. They certainly don’t publicize this stuff on their website where a developer can get at it. I am currently developing an online course to teach Pashto. Microsoft currently doesn’t even offer a keyboard input in Pashto, and I can’t get any information from MS about whether they plan to offer one in the next year or so. I ended up building my own, but my next biggest hurdle is finding a font that fully supports Pashto and is compatible with Windows. MS claims some of their fonts have the full range of Pashto letters but they are missing some of the diacritical marks. We’ve cobbled together a solution, but I could have done things much easier if the people at Microsoft would actually answer my emails. Usually they’ll answer the first one, then when they realize I actually know what I am talking about, they refuse to respond further.

  8. Where’s this list of languages? I tried looking, but couldn’t find anything. I’d like to know if Tagalog is among the 40 languages that Microsoft is including.
    –Chris

  9. How about Tibetan? I know the Unicode script has not been completed yet, but even if political considerations are involved, this is still the official language of a Chinese province and of one of the most prominent of the 55 ethnic minorities of the country (I am not saying I agree with Tibet beign considered as a part of China, nor that Tibetan is used only in China, just that this fact is important enough to be taken in consideration by MS; same goes for Google).

  10. hi,
    i needed to download microsoft new pashto language program but couldent able.
    could u let me know how can download it?

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