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.
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Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Fri 15th Jun 2012 16:56 UTC
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From what it appears the issue sounds more like one related to script support rather than language in and of itself - maybe the solution is to change the script. Recognise the the script was designed for an era of bamboo calligraphy and necessity demands a simpler, cleaner and more straight forward script without all the elaborate bullshit that exists today.

As for niche languages - I know in the case of New Zealand the government worked with Microsoft to get Maori supported on Microsoft Windows. Although it wasn't necessarily a simple operation it was made a heck of a lot easier by relying on the roman alphabet with a few modifications. It can be done, the question is whether there is the will power to do so and willingness to compromise when it comes to maybe designing an alphabet that is easier to represent on the computer.

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