ELL: Q: Computer Localization for Minority Languages

Chuck Coker chuckc at TYRELL.COM
Fri Sep 21 22:23:41 UTC 2001

With most, if not all, of modern computer operating systems, one can easily
switch back and forth between "localizations".

For example, I am currently using my computer as an English-language
computer: English text, English menus, English keyboard layout, English
error messages, etc. If I want to, I can change my computer to a
Spanish-language computer: Spanish text, Spanish menus, Spanish keyboard
layout, Spanish error messages, etc.

I am interested in localizing computers for minority languages. For example,
I might want to change my computer to a Hualapai-language computer: Hualapai
text, Hualapai menus, Hualapai keyboard layout, Hualapai error messages,
etc. Or Cahuilla or Luiseño or Cupeño and so on.

I have the technical skills to do this for Windows, Macintosh, or Linux
computers. Windows and Macintosh are the dominant desktop operating systems
by far, as Linux and other Unix flavors are for web servers and other server

What I would like to know is:

1. Has anyone else already done this for minority languages anywhere in the
world? I don't want to spend my time reinventing something that already

2. Is there a need for such a product? If I did develop localization
"modules" for minority languages, would anybody have an interest in using
them? I envision the product being used by people trying to revive a
disappearing language. I don't want to waste my time developing something
that will never be used.

3. Does anyone have any thoughts about developing localization "modules" to
support minority languages? I already know that the audience for such a
product would be very small and specialized.

I will post a summary of all responses to this list.

Thank you,
Chuck Coker

Chuck Coker <chuckc at tyrell.com>
Software Developer, Tyrell Software Corporation
23151 Verdugo Drive, Suite 204
Laguna Hills, California 92653 United States
+1 949 458 1911 ext. 3

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