If I were Australian I might say that Steve Jobs and the Klingon emporer were mates?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/01/26 03:01 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2007/01/26/1534613.aspx

The other day Larry pointed out to me an article over on Macworld with an interesting little tidbit:

And now for the answers to the three-point stunts. Macworld Editorial Director Jason Snell created this challenge:

Mac OS X supports a language invented in the 19th century by a Polish ophthalmologist, a language invented in the 20th century for a sci-fi movie, and a language that formed in the 10th century on a Pacific island chain.

After U.S. English, make these your second, third, and fourth preferences respectively for your Mac’s application menus, dialogs, and sorting.

Answer: The three languages are Esperanto, Klingon, and Hawaiian and can be located by opening the International system preference, selecting the Language tab, and then clicking the Edit List button. Esperanto is easy enough to find but Klingon and Hawaiian aren’t as Klingon is spelled in the Klingon language (it’s the tlhlngan Hol entry) and Hawaiian is likewise presented in its native spelling. (You’ll find it just below Hrvatski.)

Now I will admit that having a language like Klingon built-in to the platform has a certain visceral appeal in terms of cool factor.

It didn't make me want to go out and by a Mac, but if someone had one I'd probably want to take a look. If for no other reason than to see if they really liked user locale and UI language into a single choice like that. Ugh! :-)

But I was actually reminded of something we found out with one of our Latin transliteration locales that was added in XP SP2, Inuktitut. The sorting data was added for it initially, but this was later discarded as it really wreaked havoc with all of the non-Inuktitut data. I suspect that the Latin transliteration of Klingon and it's sort might do the same. And since Klingon in its own script was rejected (I may have mentioned it in passing here or here), it seems like Klingon collation would probably be distracting....

But in the end, having the Klingon locale on the list of UI languages for a Mac does make me a bit jealous since it can't really be done in Windows just yet, even in Vista (as I pointed out in Thinking about MUI is making me bipolar). So it is not so much to do with wanting to select Klingon in the UI language list as it is wanting it to be in the list, you know?

I should probably find out if Shawn (who insists he is not a Klingon!) has a Masc. Or if he plans to get one now? :-)

Personally, I have found that with the exception of specific language communities, the custom locale that demos the best is the valley girl one, as it is the one that the most people are likely to be able to follow without having to know a language. Ones like Klingon are fun to point out but showing them off does not have as much appeal since until the Klingons invade, most people don't know Klingon.

Which doesn't mean I don't wish it could be ion my UI language list....


This post brought to you by  (U+15fc, a.k.a. CANADIAN SYLLABICS CARRIER KKO)

# Tom Gewecke on 26 Jan 2007 5:20 PM:

A list of all the languages in the OS X Language preference pane can be found here (the pane actually has them in their own script):


I'm not sure that the list actually anything other than set the priority for the display of the UI language (when an app has more than one) and the default spell checker.   OS X itself only comes with 15 localizations, but you can add spell checkers for over 70 languages I think, and some apps like FireFox have over 3 dozen possible localizations.

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