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Celtic fringe gets support from Opera browser

Welsh Assembly, Sinn Fein rejoice...

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One of December's less visible heroic achievements was Opera Software's announcement that version 4.02 of its Opera browser for Windows is now available in the four major Celtic languages.

IT-savvy Cornish speakers (there must be some) should flame Opera if they feel hard done by, but speakers of Breton, Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Welsh will now be able to use their languages more easily on the Web. While from the outside the initiative may seem somewhat esoteric, there are genuine applications for Celtic language support in, say, bilingual schools. Opera points out that around 40 million European citizens use a language other than their country's official one on a daily basis, so there's a clear need for minority language support.

It's maybe also worth pointing out that this support could give Opera an extremely useful lever in getting its software recognised as the 'official' browser for bilingual administrations. The Welsh assembly, for example, would surely require Welsh support if it specified an official browser, likewise the Catalans and Basques.

The current Celtic language versions stem from project DART, a consortium partially funded by EBLUL, the European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages, which itself is supported by the European Commission's Directorate of Information. Somewhat improbably, we're assured that DART stands for: Diffusion et application des recherches terminologiques en langues moins répandues dans le secteur des nouvelles technologies. Or: Diffusion and application of terminological search in less widespread languages within the new technology sector.

But the bottom line is that it groups together Celtic language organisation with a view to developing a multilingual terminology database which can be used to localise other software packages. It is also intended to encourage other minority language groups to take similar steps. ®

Related links:
Opera and DART
EBLUL

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