Feeds

Microsoft releases first Windows OS in an original American language

Cherokee Nation translators build Windows 8 language pack

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Members of the largest remaining group of Native Americans, the Cherokee, have built the first local language pack for Windows 8, just 27 years after the launch of the original Windows.

"The project started with Tracy Monteith, a Cherokee citizen in North Carolina who worked at Microsoft, who'd wanted it done for a long time but it didn't come together until recently," Cherokee Nation spokeswoman Julie Hubbard told The Register. "Volunteers translated over 180,000 words for the language pack over the last year and a half; it's the biggest project since the [Cherokee] translation of the Bible."

Where words had to be invented for modern features, the translators consulted with elders or ancient texts for reference points. Microsoft also developed a new sans-serif user interface font called Gadugi – the Cherokee word for "working together" – for the Windows 8 build, as well as for a forthcoming version of Office 2013.

Enthusiastic staff also built a phonetic keyboard layout for the language, working with a Cherokee typist named Skasdi (meaning awesome, powerful, or nasty) for his skills on the keyboard, to refine the design.

Cherokee Windows

Windows 8 goes native

Key to the whole project was the extensive tribal efforts to preserve and maintain the Cherokee language, particularly among the group's younger generation. This involves special classes that children can attend, including technology modules, that are taught solely in Cherokee. Native speakers also tour districts maintaining language skills.

Thanks to these efforts, the Cherokee language has gone from being something no one under the age of 40 spoke conversationally a decade ago, to having over 3,000 fluent speakers, with the language increasingly being used in day-to-day conversations.

"Today technology is deeply integrated into our everyday lives – if that technology is not provided in the user's native tongue, then they will use whatever language is accessible to them," blogged Carla Hurd, program manager of Microsoft's local language program.

"That is why Microsoft believed it was important to work with the Cherokee Nation Language Team on creating access to our products in their language."

It's a little unfair to tease Microsoft about it taking this long to get a Native American editon of Windows. Since the launch of Windows XP, Redmond has put a lot of effort into catering for the world's diversity, building translated editions of its software in over 100 languages.

It is, however, lagging somewhat behind Apple in this case. Cupertino built a Cherokee version of iOS two years ago, and Mac OS has supported the language since 2003, again with the help of Cherokee Nation volunteers. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...
Why HELLO Amazon! You weren't here last time
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork
One Heartbleed vuln was too many for Theo de Raadt
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.