Microsoft releases Windows 8 American Cherokee language pack

The Native American culture is one that has been mostly ignored by PC operating systems in terms of supporting their native languages. That is starting to change as a result of a collaboration between Microsoft and the Cherokee Nation that has results in the release of a new new Language Interface Pack for Windows 8.

The Microsoft Corporate Citizenship blog has announced that the Cherokee language pack in Windows 8 was released  as part of the Microsoft Local Language Program. The Register reports that Cherokee Nation volunteers translated 180,000 words in the past 18 months to be included in the Cherokee language pack.

There were some issues in putting in words in the language pack that are not normally a part of the Cherokee vocabulary. The blog states:

When terminology did not exist, the translation team had to rely on elders or ancient texts for reference in order to assist in creating a new word as required for the translation. In addition, a new modern sans-serif user interface font Gadugi - the Cherokee word for “working together” - was developed to allow the localization and maintain the Windows 8 design style.

In addition to the new Windows 8 support, the Cherokee language pack will also be made available for the upcoming launch of Microsoft Office 2013.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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43 Comments

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Hahaiah said,
What they NEED is an Ebonics version...

Wit dat they be updatin' dem window language packs!! We needs a language pack too!!

Shiranui said,
Am I the only one who was expecting the phone to now be able to send smoke signals?

yes, you are the only small minded individual on neowin. Grow up. This is plain rude.

lexp said,
Not a long term investment, in 100 years most if these languages will disappear anyway.

As we all know all current software is being developed with the next century in mind

There's a renewed effort these days to save endangered languages, a number of those from lesser known aboriginal tribes in Canada and the US, as well as those peoples who don't integrate with modern civilization. Probably won't die off anytime soon but who knows decades later.

That alphabet looks like bloody squiggles Good on Microsoft for doing it though, it's not always about where you can make the most money.

Judging on the screenshot, Cherokees are not entitled to Windows Updates.
Interesting language, never saw it written - looks complex / complicated?

nohone said,
Some things, such as Wndows, Microsoft, etc are names and are not translated.

"Settings", "lock" and "screen" are names too?

.Neo said,

"Settings", "lock" and "screen" are names too?


Part of the process presented challenges as there were many terms which did not exist in the Cherokee language. When terminology did not exist, the translation team had to rely on elders or ancient texts for reference in order to assist in creating a new word as required for the translation.

Glassed Silver said,
GS:mac

Why do you sign every single comment you make? I take it the GS is from your name but whats the :mac part?

SK[ said,]

Why do you sign every single comment you make? I take it the GS is from your name but whats the :mac part?


You must be new around here...
.Neo said,

Where are those new words then?

Who knows? they possibly couldn't come up with new words for some?

.Neo said,
Then I don't really understand what the point of your post was.

That they don't have equivalent words for everything...

Glassed Silver said,

Some stuff just doesn't translate I guess...

GS:mac


And some things like brand names generally don't get translated.

Glassed Silver said,

Some stuff just doesn't translate I guess...

GS:mac

So the letters P and C can't be translated? Or "settings" or "lock screen apps"? Some of them same words on that same screen and are all translated. MS have purposely not translated this specific text for some stupid reason.

1Pixel said,

So the letters P and C can't be translated? Or "settings" or "lock screen apps"? Some of them same words on that same screen and are all translated. MS have purposely not translated this specific text for some stupid reason.


I bet "PC" is far more recognized as the abbreviation probably barely pops up in Cherokee language.

Remember:
Can be translated != will be recognized

GS:mac

ChrisJ1968 said,
being part Cherokee, I think this is awesome on the part of Microsoft. well done!

What fraction, just out of interest?
[snipped - please don't go there]

Edited by Denis W., Dec 21 2012, 5:24am :

McKay said,
Wow, in all serious is there a big enough market?

Big enough for Apple to have support for Cherokee in their products years ago.
This is a nice catch up on MS part.

There were representatives from a few reserve bands speaking to MS Research two years ago about adding this support for windows. They were effectively pleading to the researchers saying they only use mac products because their language is there.

So yeah, taking marketshare back from Apple is important.

Its not necessarily a big market, in the sense that these people would also use English language versions if Microsoft didn't come out with Cherokee versions. They made the same decision regarding Hawaiian language versions of products I think. Its more about good corporate politics.

McKay said,
Wow, in all serious is there a big enough market?

I was thinking the same to be honest... No offense to anyone, but I'm genuinely surprised by this (And Apple and GMail's support as well). Good for those companies including this support though.

M_Lyons10 said,

I was thinking the same to be honest... No offense to anyone, but I'm genuinely surprised by this (And Apple and GMail's support as well). Good for those companies including this support though.

watch the video I posted below. This is the only written language for those indigenous to North America.

brianshapiro said,
Its not necessarily a big market, in the sense that these people would also use English language versions if Microsoft didn't come out with Cherokee versions. They made the same decision regarding Hawaiian language versions of products I think. Its more about good corporate politics.

uhm no.
Watch the video I posted and educate yourself instead of sounding like a damned ignorant fool. There are many elders who don't even speak English, let alone write it.

I'm not a damned ignorant fool, I've studied linguistic in america and attempts to keep alive languages like this. the elders that may exist who dont speak english aren't necessarily a big market for microsoft. but the elders are attempting to keep the language alive among younger generations and thats the reason for its promotion. they want to be able to teach younger members of the community using cherokee language software rather than english software.

please dont prejudge people as ignorant.