We've come a long way, I think

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2005/12/14 03:01 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2005/12/14/503464.aspx

If you were building a sign to list all of the Windows Language Interface Packs, then you should make sure to leave lots of room on the sign. Because we add more and more all the time.

The latest is the Maori Language Interface Pack for Windows XP was just released!

Some background about Māori:

Language nearly exclusive spoken in New Zealand, mostly by people of Maori descent. The Maori language was recognized as second official language of New Zealand in 1987 (the other being English).

It was the predominant language in New Zealand until the 1860s, then became a minority language in the shadow of English. In the 1970s concerns about the decline of Maori initiated a multitude of activities to support the survival and growth of the language. One of the language recovery programs is the Kohanga Reo (“language nests”) movement in which language immersion centers were established for pre-school children. Today 13,000 children are enrolled in more than 700 kohanga reo centers throughout New Zealand. There are less primary and secondary schools that continue the language exposure, but Kura Kaupapa, a primary school program in Māori, is a first step to address that issue.

With ten consonants and five vowels Maori has the richest phonological inventory of all East Polynesian languages, and the number of its speakers exceeds that of any other Polynesian language.

From a personal standpoint, Maori is a language that Cathy and I were helping out with on years ago, working on creating a keyboard layout years before MSKLC made it so much easier to do that sort of thing. So it seems especially awesome to see how far we have come (from a simple keyboard available for download all the way to an entire Language Interface Pack!).


This post brought to you by "ā" (U+0101, a.k.a. LATIN SMALL LETTER A WITH MACRON)

# Mihai on 14 Dec 2005 6:21 PM:

Cool! Congratulations!

Although localizing into a language with only 15 characters (like Māori) should be way easier than translating into a language with thousands of characters (like Chinese)

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