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Kiswahili version of Microsoft Office 2003 and Windows XP

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  • ricardoolpc
    Dear Pam, Dan, Sam, David, Evelyn, Fred, Uyoga and all I came across this newspaper story written in 2005 about Microsoft producing a Language Interface Pack
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 2, 2008
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      Dear Pam, Dan, Sam, David, Evelyn, Fred, Uyoga and all

      I came across this newspaper story written in 2005 about Microsoft producing a Language Interface Pack (LIP) for Microsoft Office 2003 (it must be a legal copy, to work). The LIP is software you download and install, and it 'overlays' the English user-interface (Menus, Help, pop-help, etc) with the Kiswahili words and phrases. You can switch backwards and forwards quickly between the 2 languages.

      I think there's a similar Kiswahili Language Interface Pack (LIP) for the Windows XP operating system user-interface.

      Is this Kiswahili Language Interface Pack something you know about and use already? Does it work?

      http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200512/15/eng20051215_228159.html

      I found the original Microsoft article about it, on their website, called "East Africans to benefit from local language software "...

      http://www.microsoft.com/africa/press/ea_kishwahili.mspx

      This is the download page for the Kiswahili Language Interface Pack (LIP). It lists Kiswahili in the MS Office 2003 section, but not in the MS Office 2007 section. I don't know whether this means a) That it's not available for MS Office 2007 users, or b) It's included in MS Office 2007 so you don't need a seperate download.

      http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/downloads/HA011133501033.aspx?pid=CH010714371033

      I use MS Office 2007 and there's a Kiswahili spell-checker (in the list of languages under S for Swahili, when you select Tools, Language, Set Language), so I don't know whether a Kiswahili user-interface was an option at installation time for Office 2007.

      On a pessismistic note, this article from March 2008 is called "Kenya: Why Microsoft Swahili Version Failed". It sounds like the Kiswahili Language Interface Pack did actually work, but Microsoft didn't involve enough academic people, so they invented some new technological words in Kiswahili, corresponding to English words. However, if the product is even 90% okay, it could be very useful to people that speak no English at all, or very little.

      http://allafrica.com/stories/200803111159.html

      I would be interested to hear whether anyone has used the Kiswahili interface.

      Over-laying the User Interface of other programs

      One other thing to think about is that the technique of 'over-laying' an interface onto an existing program could be useful to produce Kiswahili (or Dholuo, etc) versions of other programs. It has 2 main benefits :-

      1. You can apply a new interface to any program. You don't need to change the text in the source code and recompile the program. So, you don't need the permission and co-operation of the software author.

      2. Over-laying the interface is less likely to infringe the copyright of the software author. I'm not sure of the exact legal position. You wouldn't copy the English text directly, but you would still be making a derivitive work, by reading the author's English text, in the menus, etc, and translating it into Kiswahili. Also, the 'over-lay' is added when the program runs, so you haven't created a new .exe file, which would infringe copyright.

      One possibility is to produce an automated translation program that definitely translates common menu items like File, Copy, Paste, Help, About, etc, and also tries it's best to auto-translate other items. Maybe this would not infringe the copyright of any single application, because it works on any application.

      Ricardo

    • Edward Cherlin
      ... Hujambo. ... Do you know about the Kiswahili support in Linux? We do not have to wait for a vendor to produce language support packs for Free/Open Source
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 3, 2008
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        On Sat, Aug 2, 2008 at 11:59 PM, ricardoolpc <ricardoolpc@...> wrote:
        > Dear Pam, Dan, Sam, David, Evelyn, Fred, Uyoga and all

        Hujambo.

        > I came across this newspaper story written in 2005 about Microsoft producing
        > a Language Interface Pack (LIP) for Microsoft Office 2003 (it must be a
        > legal copy, to work). The LIP is software you download and install, and it
        > 'overlays' the English user-interface (Menus, Help, pop-help, etc) with the
        > Kiswahili words and phrases. You can switch backwards and forwards quickly
        > between the 2 languages.

        Do you know about the Kiswahili support in Linux? We do not have to
        wait for a vendor to produce language support packs for Free/Open
        Source Software. Anybody can join in the work. For example, here are
        the Swahili project and group pages for Ubuntu Linux.

        https://translations.launchpad.net/ubuntu/hardy/+lang/sw
        https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-l10n-sw

        > I think there's a similar Kiswahili Language Interface Pack (LIP) for the
        > Windows XP operating system user-interface.
        >
        > Is this Kiswahili Language Interface Pack something you know about and use
        > already? Does it work?
        >
        > http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200512/15/eng20051215_228159.html
        >
        > I found the original Microsoft article about it, on their website, called
        > "East Africans to benefit from local language software "...
        >
        > http://www.microsoft.com/africa/press/ea_kishwahili.mspx
        >
        > This is the download page for the Kiswahili Language Interface Pack (LIP).
        > It lists Kiswahili in the MS Office 2003 section, but not in the MS Office
        > 2007 section. I don't know whether this means a) That it's not available for
        > MS Office 2007 users, or b) It's included in MS Office 2007 so you don't
        > need a seperate download.
        >
        > http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/downloads/HA011133501033.aspx?pid=CH010714371033
        >
        > I use MS Office 2007 and there's a Kiswahili spell-checker (in the list of
        > languages under S for Swahili, when you select Tools, Language, Set
        > Language), so I don't know whether a Kiswahili user-interface was an option
        > at installation time for Office 2007.
        >
        > On a pessismistic note, this article from March 2008 is called "Kenya: Why
        > Microsoft Swahili Version Failed". It sounds like the Kiswahili Language
        > Interface Pack did actually work, but Microsoft didn't involve enough
        > academic people, so they invented some new technological words in Kiswahili,
        > corresponding to English words. However, if the product is even 90% okay, it
        > could be very useful to people that speak no English at all, or very little.
        >
        > http://allafrica.com/stories/200803111159.html
        >
        > I would be interested to hear whether anyone has used the Kiswahili
        > interface.
        >
        > Over-laying the User Interface of other programs
        >
        > One other thing to think about is that the technique of 'over-laying' an
        > interface onto an existing program could be useful to produce Kiswahili (or
        > Dholuo, etc) versions of other programs. It has 2 main benefits :-
        >
        > 1. You can apply a new interface to any program. You don't need to change
        > the text in the source code and recompile the program. So, you don't need
        > the permission and co-operation of the software author.
        >
        > 2. Over-laying the interface is less likely to infringe the copyright of the
        > software author. I'm not sure of the exact legal position. You wouldn't copy
        > the English text directly, but you would still be making a derivitive work,
        > by reading the author's English text, in the menus, etc, and translating it
        > into Kiswahili. Also, the 'over-lay' is added when the program runs, so you
        > haven't created a new .exe file, which would infringe copyright.
        >
        > One possibility is to produce an automated translation program that
        > definitely translates common menu items like File, Copy, Paste, Help, About,
        > etc, and also tries it's best to auto-translate other items. Maybe this
        > would not infringe the copyright of any single application, because it works
        > on any application.
        >
        > Ricardo
        >
        >



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        And Children are my nation.
        The whole world is my dwelling place,
        And Truth my destination.
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