Microsoft and the Board take Welsh even further into the digital age
17 Dec 2007
Welsh speakers can now use Windows Vista and Office 2007 in Welsh thanks to a partnership between Microsoft and the Welsh Language Board.
17 December 2007 - Free Welsh Language Interface Packs (LIPs) for Windows Vista and Office 2007 are now available to download under the partnership between Microsoft and the Welsh Language Board, enabling a bilingual computing experience for Welsh speakers. The project involved the translation of 600,000 words in to the Welsh language.
The Welsh Language Vista and Office 2007 Interface Packs mark an important milestone in helping to mainstream the Welsh language further into everyday life, in the home, business and in education and will encourage Welsh speakers to make wider use of the language. The introduction of Welsh Language Vista and Office 2007 Interface Packs also reflects Microsoft and the Welsh Language Board's commitment to giving Welsh speakers a greater choice of IT-based tools.
Meri Huws, Chair of the Welsh Language Board, commented:
"With more than one in five of the Welsh population now speaking Welsh, we believe this is a pivotal moment in promoting and developing the Welsh language. We are delighted to have worked with Microsoft to make this happen, especially at a time when technology is so deeply embedded into our lives and which no-one should be excluded from.
The Welsh Language Vista and Office 2007 packs will be available for download free of charge from the Microsoft Download Centre at and from www.welsh-language-board.org.uk/technology.
Steve Beswick, Director of Education at Microsoft commented:
"We are proud to be working with the Welsh Language Board to combine the modern technology within Vista and Office with the vibrancy and heritage of the Welsh language. We hope this initiative will both encourage those people currently learning the Welsh language and also enable an enhanced computing experience for existing speakers."
Rhodri Glyn Thomas, Minister for Heritage of the Welsh Assembly Government, said:
"As we move to an increasingly knowledge-based economy, it is important that we make it easier for Welsh speakers to access and use the latest technology. We hope this initiative will not only help to encourage more Welsh speakers but will also enable more people to develop new skills which will help contribute to creating a successful Welsh Economy"
The launch of the Welsh Language Vista and Office 2007 Interface Packs builds on the long-term strategic relationship between the Welsh Language Board and Microsoft, which saw the launch in 2004 of free Welsh Language Interface Packs (LIPs) for Office 2003 and Windows XP.
The Welsh language spelling checker, produced by the Language Technologies Unit of Bangor University, has been considerably revised and updated and included in the new Welsh LIP. It contains an expanded lexicon, including many more names of countries, languages, rivers, companies, abbreviations and acronyms. There are now over 120,000 Welsh words in their raw forms. When all the mutated and conjugated forms are included, this gives a total of over a million recognised Welsh word forms.
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Notes to editors
- Within the scope of the partnership announced today, two free Welsh LIPs have been produced: one for Office 2007, and one for Windows Vista.
- The free LIP for Office 2007 translates the user interface of the following programs: Microsoft Word 2007, Microsoft Excel 2007, Microsoft Outlook 2007, Microsoft PowerPoint 2007.
- The free LIPs work on all versions of Office 2007 and Windows Vista.
- The LIPs are completely switchable between Welsh and English in all combinations, and different languages can be linked to different profiles on the same computer, fully enabling the bilingual workplace, and enabling different members of the same family with different language abilities to share the same computer. 80% of Welsh speaking 3-15 year olds live in homes where not everyone speaks Welsh. This enables everyone to have a Welsh language computing experience at home.
- LIPs will be installable on all versions of Windows Vista and switching is possible between the LIP and the base language on all versions.
- The LIPs for Office 2003 and Office 2007 are mountable on Microsoft Server 2003 Technology. This will assist in the creation of more bilingual workplaces, enabling workers with differing language skills in the same office environment to have an individual language choice, whilst sharing the same machines.
- All work undertaken as part of this project is fully funded by Microsoft.
- The translation work is undertaken by the Cymen translation company of Caernarfon and project managed and quality assured by the Welsh Language Board.
- For further details please contact, Microsoft Press Office 0870 20 77 377, Welsh Language Board Press Office on +44 29 2087 8000, email@example.com. See www.welsh-language-board.org.uk/technology for more information.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential. For further information about Microsoft and education, visit www.microsoft.com/uk/education
About Welsh Language Board
The Welsh Language Board is a statutory organisation, funded by the National Assembly for . It was established in December 1993 under the terms of the Welsh Language Act. Its main function is to promote and facilitate the use of the Welsh language.
"The Board's main aim is to make it easier for everyone to use Welsh in all walks of life."
The members are appointed by the National Assembly for , and the Board has a staff of over 70. Under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the Board became answerable to the National Assembly, having previously been accountable to, and funded by The Welsh Office.
Put simply, the Board's main aim is to make it easier for everyone to use Welsh in all walks of life, to increase people's confidence in their ability to use the language, to encourage more people to speak, read or write it in new situations, and to pass on the language to their children.
The Board seeks to work in partnership with public sector bodies, private businesses and voluntary organisations, offering advice and resources to help service providers in to give a natural choice of language.
[WLB] Vista hag Office 2007 e kembraeg
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