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Re: [learningfromeachother] Kiswahili version of Microsoft Office 2003 and Windows XP

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  • 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 1 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


      > 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.


      > 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

      Silent Thunder [默雷/शब्दगर्ज] is my name,
      And Children are my nation.
      The whole world is my dwelling place,
      And Truth my destination.
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