Continuing with its latest affection for all things Irish, Microsoft revealed this afternoon that its MSN localised search portal is now available in Irish.
This development, designed to coincide with today’s European Day of Languages, means MSN users can search sites in Irish from its MSN Search.ie portal.
The development follows on from a number of announcements whereby Microsoft developers have been creating Irish language editions of major products such as Office 2003 and Windows XP.
Microsoft also announced that the community glossary, which was drawn up under its Local Language Programme, is now available to download from www.microsoft.com/ireland/gaeilge. The company last year forged an alliance with Foras na Gaeilge that has resulted in the creation of an Irish Language Interface Pack (LIP).
The community glossary was a key foundational reference for the work. Under the auspices of the Terminology Committee in Foras na Gaeilge, the community glossary initiative afforded the Irish-speaking community the opportunity to make comments or contributions on the use of technical terminology. The core glossaries of 600,000 terms have also been made available on the website.
According to Microsoft, the efforts of the company and Foras na Gaeilge have been supported by a wide number of community groups and native language speakers who have helped with vocabulary selection and testing. Other partners involved in supporting the work were EGTeo, Dublin City University, eTeams and National University of Ireland, Maynooth. The production of Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003 in Irish is part of the worldwide Microsoft Local Language Programme and the idea was spawned when Irish employees volunteered their time and expertise to do the localisation work that would enable versions of the product to be available in Irish.
A key feature of the language pack is an Irish spell checker, which will enhance the overall experience for users. The Office LIP is also hot-switchable, meaning users can switch between English and Irish without having to reboot their computers. The Irish version of Microsoft Windows XP has been available to download since June of this year.
By John Kennedy
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