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Peruvians to enjoy Windows in Quechua

Language of the Incas

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The estimated three million Peruvian speakers of Quechua will soon be enjoying Microsoft products in their native tongue, according to a report (in Spanish) on Terra.com.

MS Peru and the Peruvian Ministry of Education have inked a deal to develop Windows products in the ancient language of the Incas. The programmes will be distributed free to teachers and students as part of a nation-wide scheme to promote the language, and will also be installed in internet cafes. Peru's education minister, Javier Sota Nadal, said: "We're going to promote the use of the Quechua language, as well as contribute to its spread as a part of Peruvian culture... Quechua speakers have the right to learn their own language."

MS Peru supremo Lieneke Schol added: "This programme offers the opportunity to give access to technology in native tongues with the end result that more people can work with computers in their own language and realise their full potential."

Pre-conquest Quechua had no written form (messages were relayed using a system of knotted string, the exact nature of which remains uncertain), but was later transcribed by the Spanish into the Latin alphabet. This will greatly facilitate the efforts of linguists at the Universidad Nacional San Antonio in Cuzco and Universidad Nacional San Cristobal de Huamanga in Ayachucho who are assisting in the translation process. The nuts-and-bolts work will be carried out using MS's "Language Interface Pack Kit" and is expected to yield results by May 2005. ®

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