MICROSOFT IN AGREEMENT WITH SA GOVT TO PROVIDE ISIZULE AND AFRIKAANS
The South African government has entered into a partnership with Microsoft to develop software in IsiZulu and Afrikaans. Microsoft announced the translation of its software into the two languages in Johannesburg last week and said the software was now ready for demonstration.
The Director General of the Department of Communications Dr Andile Ngcaba said the government was attempting to communicate with the public in their own spoken languages.The development of the software followed discussions between the Ministry of Communications and various national institutions around the translation of Microsoft products into African languages.
Other languages to be developed included Sepedi, Setswana, Isixhosa, and Swahili, the most dominant language in southern, central, and eastern Africa. ’Our aim is to equip our society by making the language available on their computers, and the purpose is to ensure that people will communicate easily in their mother languages,’ said Ngcaba.
He said developing such a programme would enhance learning and teaching in schools, as learners would not be required to understand English first as opposed to the content.
Microsoft Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Europe, Middle East and Africa Jean Philliep Touis said the company envisaged partnering with African governments to sustain efforts to localise its software.