Linked by Eisel Mazard on Thu 14th Jun 2012 22:01 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes The average computer user might think that the number of languages their operating system supports is pretty long. OSX supports 22 languages, and Microsoft claims to support 96, but they're counting different regional dialects multiple times. But there are over 6000 languages, and though many of them are spoken by a dwindling few, there are some languages that are spoken by millions of people that are supported very poorly, if at all, by computer operating systems. The reason for the support being poor is that the people who speak those languages are poor, and are not good "markets." It's only because of the efforts of a few dedicated people that computing support for languages such as Burmese, Sinhalese, Pali, Cambodian, and Lao have been as good as they are, but the trends for the future are not good.
Permalink for comment 522088
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Fascinating article
by KLU9 on Thu 14th Jun 2012 23:36 UTC
Member since:

the world is much larger than the nations that produce comic books that are read by computer programmers.
Oh no you di''n't!

But seriously, fascinating article. Although I do feel it missed an opportunity, namely: why was language support so much better on older Mac OSes than now?

The implication in the article is that it isn't commercially interesting to Apple to support them. But surely living languages like Burmese or Khmer are more commercially viable now than in the 1980s, not less.

Maybe there's some greying ex-Apple employee who could be tracked down to offer the straight dope. Was the greater support back then the result of financial support? Some technical issue? A senior employee who just had a love of languages?

Fingers crossed for such a follow-up ;)

Reply Score: 4