open source for all languages

Mark P. Line mark at POLYMATHIX.COM
Thu May 5 17:16:12 UTC 2005

Lucas Hüsgen said:
> It may be interesting to know that free office suite project Open
> is warmly interested in developing this open source product for
> all (that is: all) languages.
> Go to

Well, they mean "all" languages in the special sense of at most 676
languages which either have a 2-letter ISO code or can be informally given
an unassigned one.

Even if you're not an ethnologue-style splitter, that's not a very
significant proportion of the world's languages, much less "all" of them.

No question, of course, that it would be quite an accomplishment if they
*did* get their software localized in that many languages, but I guess
it's the case that they're interested in localizing in _any_ language, not
literally in _all_ languages.

So that would mean that there is an opportunity here for some endangered
and other minority languages to gain visibility and utility by plugging
into this project. I reckon it'll be a first-come, first-serve affair,
though, so I expect to be seeing Saami, Tok Pisin, Scots and Plattdeutsch
before we see Wutung, Yupik or Arapaho.

Of course, they might also be thinking that they'll eventually try to
switch to 3-letter ISO codes if they really do start to saturate the
2-letter space -- in which case just forget everything I said here.......

-- Mark

Mark P. Line
San Antonio, TX

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