Microsoft SA has announced details of the general availability of the Afrikaans Language Interface Pack (LIP) for Windows XP, which forms part of Microsoft's global Local Language Programme.

Pfungwa Serima, MD of Microsoft SA, says: "Partnership and collaboration are at the centre of how we do business, and, through our work with the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) and national Government departments, the academic community; the many translators and the Afrikaans community, we have aimed to deliver a localisation that is linguistically correct for the SA market."

Before the announcement Microsoft already provided desktop language coverage for approximately 40 languages globally. Through the technology available in the Local Language Programme and collaboration with local and regional governments, Microsoft plans to add an additional 40 languages in the near future. This is the third of the earmarked languages planned for Windows XP in SA.

"We regard Microsoft's local language programme as groundbreaking - to assist users with an interface in the languages of their choice and regard this as another important step towards actualising multilingualism," says Professor Cynthia Marivate, CEO of PanSALB.

Adds Serima: "We hope to encourage participation in the community and the world beyond, by providing South Africans with access to technology in local vernaculars that not only honours cultural distinctions, but facilitates the preservation of language and culture."

ICT World