And here comes Macedonian!

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2010/08/28 10:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2010/08/28/10055371.aspx


The Windows 7 Macedonian Language Interface Pack is live!

Click here to download the Macedonian Windows 7 LIP via the Microsoft.com Download Center.

Please note that the Macedonian Windows 7 LIP can only be installed on a system that runs an English client version of Windows 7.   It is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit systems on the Download Center.

A LITTLE BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON MACEDONIAN

NUMBER OF SPEAKERS

1.5 – 2.5 million speakers

NAME IN THE LANGUAGE ITSELF:

Македонски

Macedonian is the official language of the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) where it is spoken by about 1.4 million speakers. Another 200,000 native speakers live in Greece, and there are larger numbers of speakers in Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria and Albania.  In some areas outside FYROM, Macedonian is not recognized as an independent language and even repressed (which is the reason why there are only estimates for the number of speakers).

FUN FACT:

• Macedonian grammar is markedly analytic (having a low morpheme-per-word ratio)  in comparison with other Slavic languages, having lost the common Slavic case system.

Click here for more information about the Macedonian language

CLASSIFICATION:

Macedonian, an Indo-European language, is a Slavic language belonging to a group of South Slavic languages that also include Slovenian, Serbian, Croatian, and Bulgarian. It is most closely related to Bulgarian. These two languages share several features with Romanian, Greek and Albanian (though those are all from different language families) and form the so-called Balkan linguistic union.

Click here for more information about Macedonian classification

SCRIPT:

Macedonian is written in a modified Cyrillic alphabet with 31 letters, more similar to that used for Serbian than those for Russian or Bulgarian.

Click here for more information about the Macedonian script

 

MICROSOFT-SPECIFIC AND NAME-SPECIFIC:

Now I have previously talked about the lengths Microsoft goes to in order to avoid taking sides. In fact, it was in Who owns English, exactly? that I mentioned Macedonian in the contexct of a casde where Microsoft let the politics of another country entirely (Greece) determine the "English name" of Macedonian:

A company like Microsoft will often make use of the LOCALE_SENGLANGUAGE, LOCALE_SLANGUAGE, and LOCALE_SNATIVELANGNAME parameters to GetLocaleInfo in ways that are fairly wimpy and non-confrontational in order to avoid taking sides -- thus we have Macedonian (FYROM) as the SENGLANGUAGE, македонски јазик or Македонија as the SNATIVELANGNAME, and whatever individual localizers come up with as the best choice for SLANGUAGE on a per-language basis.

The most current English LOCALE_SLANGUAGE is the full Macedonian (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), meaning the English SLANGUAGE does not match the SENGLANGUAGE.

As Wikipedia says in its Macedonia naming dispute article:

The Macedonia naming dispute refers to the disagreement over the use of the name Macedonia between Greece and the Republic of Macedonia. Greece opposes the post-1991 constitutional name of its northern neighbour, citing historical and territorial concerns resulting from the ambiguity between it and the adjacent Greek region of Macedonia. Greece also objects to the ambiguous use of the term Macedonian for the neighbouring country's main ethnic group and language. The dispute has escalated to the highest level of international mediation, involving numerous attempts to achieve a resolution, notably by the United Nations.

The provisional reference the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) is currently always used in relations involving states which do not recognize the constitutional name, Republic of Macedonia. Nevertheless, all United Nations member-states, and the UN as a whole, have agreed to accept any final agreement resulting from negotiations between the two countries. The ongoing dispute has not prevented the two countries from enjoying close trade links and investment levels (especially from Greece), but it has generated a great deal of political and academic debate on both sides.

Negotiations aimed at resolving the dispute are ongoing.

This is where that FYROM in the LOCALE_SENGLANGUGE comes from. But it is wortrh noting that the name is not the UN-brokered "compromise" name, by any means (and in Macedonian the FYROM issue is skipped entirely). Technically this makes Microsoft doing its own version of a "double name" solution, which is the solution most outside of Greece have expressed interest in as some kind of compromise.

In any case, enjoy the Macedonian Language Interface Pack!


Srgjan Srepfler on 24 Sep 2010 8:03 AM:

Thanks Mitch :)


referenced by

2012/08/23 Some notes about The Locales of Windows 8, not yet divvied up...

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