Use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the day-to-day operations of the government and the private and public sectors is a must to leverage the economical and social developments. Considering Afghanistans use of ICT for the development of the country, there is intense need for content developed in the local languages of the country. The Ministry of Communication (MoC), the core body addressing the ICT issues in the country, has started the localization efforts and is very happy that Microsoft has offered its assistance with this project. MoC will soon arrange a team that will have linguistics and technical members who will work on the issue of localization. MoC appreciates the efforts made by Microsoft to preserve the cultural and linguistic aspects of different countries and hopes that by conducting the localization project in Afghanistan, they will be contributing to the ICT sector of the country.
Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai
Minister of Communications
The decision to localize versions of the most widely used Microsoft products (Windows®
and Office) has two main benefits for the employees in STS Holding Group: easier work with the products and enhanced effectiveness from the usage of a broader set of product features. Because of the different degrees of foreign-language knowledge of the employees in the company, the usage of Bulgarian Windows and Office is a kind of accelerator for looking at usage of new functionality to help employees do their work faster and easier.
STS Invest Holding SC
Canada — Nunavut (new Canadian territory)
The Inuktitut language is undergoing a dramatic shift in its official and public usage. The creation of the new Canadian territory of Nunavut can potentially lead to policies, and soon legislation, that emphasize the use of Inuktitut in the workplace. The Local Language Program will greatly assist us through the development of culturally appropriate terms and also in providing a means, the Windows operating system, to practically disseminate the concepts into the community. In addition, the LIP will provide an excellent opportunity to create linkages between Inuktitut-speaking regions across the circumpolar world.
Pirurvik Centre for Inuit Culture
Language and Wellbeing
We are really excited about Microsoft Corp.s proposal to localize Windows and Office in Amharic. Amharic is spoken by most of the 60 million people in Ethiopia and is the working language of the nation. The localization project, we truly believe, will make IT solutions more accessible to the Ethiopian community. It also represents a breakthrough for Ethiopian linguistic and literary studies as well as general Ethiopian studies. We eagerly look forward to its introduction in our country.
Professor Andreas Eshete
Addis Ababa University
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The Local Language Program, implemented through Project Bhasha, is a long-awaited vehicle to take the benefits of technology to the citizens of India. For a nation where for a large part of the population access to technology is a significant challenge, developments in Indian-language-based computing are extremely important. The Local Language Program and Project Bhasha, as well as other efforts in India, are helping make computers language-independent and are important ingredients for India to become a developed nation by 2020.
N. Balakrishnan, Ph.D.
Chairman of the Research & Development Working Group
For Technology Development for Indian Languages Programs at the Government of Indias Ministry of Information Technology
We are really excited about Microsofts proposal to provide Language Interface Packs for Windows and Office in Swahili. Swahili is spoken as a primary language by more than 100 million people and in more than five countries in Eastern Africa. The localization project will make IT solutions more accessible to the Kenyan community, as well as to more than 90 percent of the East African population. We truly welcome this initiative.
Dr. Wilson Sitonik
Director Govt IT Services
Government of Kenya
We believe that the language divide needs to be addressed alongside the digital divide. Bahasa Melayu, being the national language, once localized to Windows and Office, can bring children from rural areas and other marginalized communities closer to the technology experience. The Malaysian government recently launched a program called MySchoolNet, which aims to connect all schools in Malaysia through a broadband infrastructure. The shared technology experience can now be one that is common to students, and eventually to most citizens.
Dato Haji Aziz Deraman
Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (National Language Authority)
The National Language Authority of Pakistan is grateful to Microsoft for its great initiative to collaborate in the development of the Urdu language for use in informatics through its Local Language Program. The National Language Authority, in collaboration with Microsoft, is working to bring computer technology to Urdu. Providing the interface in Urdu will boost IT development activities in Pakistan, as well as in India and other SAARC countries. This initiative will potentially enable computer access in every street and village of Pakistan and South Asia. Teaching of Urdu will be facilitated and education in school can now be enhanced with the help of computers, because 92 percent of the population of Pakistan does not speak English. In addition, the software development industry will gain a new field of business activities using Office and Windows in Urdu, and we expect that the LLP will also benefit Urdu informatics research activities in Pakistans universities.
Dr. Attash Durrani
National Language Authority of Pakistan
State-of-the-art information technology is developing at a rapid rate in the Ukraine. An essential initiative driving this momentum is the alliance between the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and Microsoft to create a Ukrainian language computer environment. We are well aware of how significant it is for users to be able to work with an interface adapted to their native language a factor that becomes even more important in the sphere of public education and science. We are extremely pleased to expand and improve the localization of Microsoft software together.
Andrey Nikolaevich Gurzhiy
First Vice Minister of Education and Science
United Kingdom — Wales
The Welsh Language Board is delighted to be working with Microsoft in creating a specialized Welsh version of its computer programs. This new solution from Microsoft is a huge boost to the language and will provide a much-needed service. This pioneering scheme will give more people access to the Welsh language and will enable computer users across the world to choose Welsh in work and in recreation. Computing is at the cutting edge of new technology. What better way to promote and develop the Welsh language than through this most contemporary form of communication.
Welsh Language Board