Thursday, December 21, 2006

OmegaWiki now supports Cebuano

Cebuano is one of the languages spoken in the Philippines. Some 20 million people speak it as their first language and some 11 million speak it as a second language. It is good that Cebuano is now enabled for editing.

There is a Wikipedia in Cebuano, as far as I can tell it has been localised in MediaWiki. This means that when the names of languages are translated, OmegaWiki will start to look attractive for the people who speak Cebuano.

Out of interest I checked if Open Office supports Cebuano. Googling learns that people use OO in Cebuan, but there is no official localisation for Cebuano and there isn't one for Tagalog either. Open Office does not support many languages and it will be hard work to get the user interface localised in more languages.

This does however not mean that Open Office cannot create content in Cebuano. Of importance is that OO is able to indicate what language people use. It is not clear to me how to do this; it seems that OO only allows for the use of languages that it fully supports. This is in my opinion not the way to approach it.

If Open Office allows for people to select the languages that they edit in, and the languages are everything that ISO-639-3 supports that is written, it should be possible for people to select the user interface that suits them best and even allow for the use of spell checkers that are created for these languages. With the correct tagging that is implicit in using the language tags, it will become easier to support the documents that are produced because it is then possible to explicitly know what language a text is in.

The questions for me are:
  • Is my analysis correct .. please tell me it is not ..
  • How to convince the OO people to support the use of all recognised languages that can be written
  • Get support for spell checking in those languages as well.

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