KDE/Qt Gain Increased Support for Indic Languages

With the release of Trolltech's Qt 3.2.0 beta1, the upcoming KDE 3.2 has gained increased support for Indic languages both in terms of rendering and text input. Currently, Devanagari (screenshot), Bengali (bn-2, bn-3, bn-1) and Tamil have been tested but Syriac, Tibetan, Khmer and others are expected to work as well. Dirk Mueller writes: "The KDE Project encourages interested people who understand these languages
to submit feedback and help the i18n teams (Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Tibetan, etc) with contributing a fully localized
KDE 3.2." These languages require Open Type fonts and a working Xft installation.

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by lit (not verified)

Indic languages were pretty much the only set of languages that were not supported very well by Qt, but were supported quite well by pango. Places like India have a great potential for many GNU/Linux/KDE installations.. already a increasing amount of people use Linux.. perhaps it'll free them from the chains of using pirated copies of WinXP :)

by seenic (not verified)

perhaps, if internet connectivity is cheaper than winXP.

by Somebody (not verified)

Are there internationalisations for olds languages for KDE like Latin, Greek or Sanskrit?

by KDe User (not verified)

Old languages? Greek???

by Blod (not verified)

Not many people speak in New Testament Greek, now, but see the KDE-based BibleTime for a place where handling ancient Greek is useful. There's loads other classical works written in ancient Greek as well.

by Somebody (not verified)

Like Works and Days ("Ergai kai heterai") of Hesiod or the famous Ilias.

by Somebody (not verified)

Ancient Greek, the new one is a mixture of the old one, Latin and languages of the barbarians!

by KDE Fan (not verified)

What about Klingon? Or Elvish(sp?)?

by Somebody (not verified)

Yeah, Klingon would be nice.

by Evan "JabberWok... (not verified)

Klingon would be nice, but somebody (Charles Samels?) suggested it, even created a commit and got ready to support it in CVS, and it got nixed by the developers as "silly".

It's a shame, IMO. It would have hurt nothing, and would have been an attractive harmless sidebar note. Users would have liked it.

by Charles Samuels (not verified)

Rob Kaper

by Hrishikesh Mehendale (not verified)

Sanskrit uses the 'Devnagri' script (and in fact was the origin of a lot of indian languages). therefore, I think only correct translations will be needed, the support is already present :-)

by Hein (not verified)

What about plattdeutsch? Recent postings on prolinux got high attention. Perhaps KDE may become the only desktop environment that fulfills the European Language charter. Institut für Niederdeutsche Sprache Bremen wants to translate Gnome.

by Tim Jansen (not verified)

Let them waste their time and bandwidth with unneccessary languages... I doubt that there is demand for plattdeutsch, and there are certainly things that are more important...

by ac (not verified)

Plattdeutsch \Platt"deutsch`\, n.
The modern dialects spoken in the north of Germany, taken
collectively; modern Low German. See {Low German}, under

What is useless about that?

by Tim Jansen (not verified)

Because it is a dialect that no one writes, it is only spoken.

by Hakenuk (not verified)

It is no dialect, stupid!

Read our European Language Charter...

If KDe fulfills the European Language charter as the only Desktop environment it will be very useful to "sell" KDe to governmental use.

Afaik governmental institutions are obliged to reply in indigene languages in Europe.

Ha! Unnecessary? Sure, KDe only incorporates few basic features... Who need islandic KDE as everybody speaks english over there

by Tim Jansen (not verified)

I doubt that any government wants a KDE version in 'Plattdeutsch'. Show me, for example, a single newspaper written in it. Or a radio station that uses it. Everything over there is in regular german.

by Gerd (not verified)

The main reason is discrimination of indigene languages, in the times of nationalism language variety wasn't wished by the authorities. Later it became a traditionalism issue.

Wikipedia tells that it was official language of the Hanse.

The main reason why there is no radio station is that the authorities didn't want to have one. Minority languages (Plattdeutsch was majority language) became the languages of rural people. Very much the same in the third world. the upper class speaks English not Hindi, Ewe, Suaheli ecc..

It almost the same with noble men, they spoke french. National languages (like German) were regarded (and were) lower class.

by Thomas (not verified)

The tiny, but very good public station 'Radio Bremen' has daily news in plattdeutsch. It's a real fun to hear and I'm sure quite a few people like it. Headlines from last friday: 'Schröder snackt mit Powell +++ Eichel will Vördeelen bi de Stüer afbuun +++ De School warrt reformeert - Orientierungsstufe geiht tweedusenunveer to Enn ... '. You can listen to it at: news.rm .
But I agree that there are more important things for KDE than a localized version for platt. For example to fix konqueror (version 3.1.1) crashes on http://www.radiobremen.de/ :-)


by Datschge (not verified)

> But I agree that there are more important things for KDE than a localized version for
> platt. For example to fix konqueror (version 3.1.1) crashes on
> http://www.radiobremen.de/ :-)

Works perfectly fine here using KDE 3.1.1.

And besides it's by far not like programmers who could fix these kind of possible problems are the same people who are doing documentation and translations. By denying people to just do translations they'd like to see and contribute to you are more likely to also discourage them to work anywhere else within KDE so you lose more than you win. Right now Tim Jansen is doing a great job keeping the community small.

by Ventura (not verified)

I am from Brasil (not *zil). I don't understand nothing about C ou C++ ou Kt ou Gtk, neither Python or Camel. Maybe HTML and CSS.

I help Free Software with translation! That's all I can do.

Seid umschlungen, Millionen !
Diesen Kub der gazen Welt !


by Gerd (not verified)
by Kenneth Christiansen (not verified)

Wilst du gern disse link lesen:


Ik kom ut Denemark un ik snaak ok Neddersassisch. Het is 'n spraak un het is tou vergelyken mit Nedderlands.

Ik ken vele dey Neddersassisch schryfen.


by Kenneth Christiansen (not verified)

If you didn't understand what I was saying (due to me speaking another language more related to Dutch than High German), please let me rephase.

Low Saxon is a language and has been it for centories. Please read the supplied link for more information. It is spoken in North Germany, East Netherland, Russia and also other places.

Danish is one of those language who like High German has been highly influenced by Low Saxon.

Low Saxon is a litteral language. Especially in The Netherlands where there are official spelling systems.

Harry Potter is also translated to North-Lowlands-Saxon:


Low Saxon is protected by the European Language Charter for Regional and Minority Languages:



by Phantom (not verified)

Yes, and there are around 30.000 mennonites in Paraguay that speak a dialect of Platt (plus many of the native people too). And no, they are not the horse and buggy mennonites from the USA, that everyone thinks of when they hear "mennonite". And yes many, but not all of them speak high German.

KAH - Uruguay, South America

Want Infos?


by sujan (not verified)

You think 'hindi' is unnecessary?? You make me laugh

by cm (not verified)

I think he was referring to Plattdeutsch, not the indic languages.

by sujan (not verified)

sorry...my bad :)

by Hakenuk (not verified)

Well, there are many languages that are less spoken. In many third world states trough urbanisation languages die, english and french as former colonial languages take over...

by Datschge (not verified)

Uh? Why not actually let the demand decide before declaring everything as "waste of time and bandwidth" and being "not important enough" to be considered at all? There's really no need for someone to appear like knowing the only true truth and suggesting everyone else got it wrong.

by Gerd (not verified)


That is true FOSS style!

by Hakenuk (not verified)


Article 10 – Administrative authorities and public services
Within the administrative districts of the State in which the number of residents who are users of regional or minority languages justifies the measures specified below and according to the situation of each language, the Parties undertake, as far as this is reasonably possible:

to ensure that the administrative authorities use the regional or minority languages; or
to ensure that such of their officers as are in contact with the public use the regional or minority languages in their relations with persons applying to them in these languages; or
to ensure that users of regional or minority languages may submit oral or written applications and receive a reply in these languages; or
to ensure that users of regional or minority languages may submit oral or written applications in these languages; or
to ensure that users of regional or minority languages may validly submit a document in these languages;
to make available widely used administrative texts and forms for the population in the regional or minority languages or in bilingual versions;
to allow the administrative authorities to draft documents in a regional or minority language.
In respect of the local and regional authorities on whose territory the number of residents who are users of regional or minority languages is such as to justify the measures specified below, the Parties undertake to allow and/or encourage:
the use of regional or minority languages within the framework of the regional or local authority;
the possibility for users of regional or minority languages to submit oral or written applications in these languages;
the publication by regional authorities of their official documents also in the relevant regional or minority languages;
the publication by local authorities of their official documents also in the relevant regional or minority languages;
the use by regional authorities of regional or minority languages in debates in their assemblies, without excluding, however, the use of the official language(s) of the State;
the use by local authorities of regional or minority languages in debates in their assemblies, without excluding, however, the use of the official language(s) of the State;
the use or adoption, if necessary in conjunction with the name in the official language(s), of traditional and correct forms of place-names in regional or minority languages.
With regard to public services provided by the administrative authorities or other persons acting on their behalf, the Parties undertake, within the territory in which regional or minority languages are used, in accordance with the situation of each language and as far as this is reasonably possible:
to ensure that the regional or minority languages are used in the provision of the service; or
to allow users of regional or minority languages to submit a request and receive a reply in these languages; or
to allow users of regional or minority languages to submit a request in these languages.
With a view to putting into effect those provisions of paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 accepted by them, the Parties undertake to take one or more of the following measures:
translation or interpretation as may be required;
recruitment and, where necessary, training of the officials and other public service employees required;
compliance as far as possible with requests from public service employees having a knowledge of a regional or minority language to be appointed in the territory in which that language is used.
The Parties undertake to allow the use or adoption of family names in the regional or minority languages, at the request of those concerned.

by Datschge (not verified)

(note: this post is pure sarcasm to show what some particular people would prefer to see obviously completely ignorant of the current situation in KDE)

...such a waste of time and bandwidth... ...there are certainly things that are more important...

Basque (eu), everyone is speaking Spain or French there anyway.
Brazilian Portuguese (pt_BR), why not stick to Portuguese instead doing it twice.
Breton (br), everyone is speaking French there anyway.
British English (en_GB), again, why not stick to (Amercian) English instead doing it twice.
Catalan (ca), everyone is speaking Spain there anyway.
Chinese Traditional (zh_TW), the majority of the Chinese population uses Simplified Chinese nowadays.
Esperanto (eo), not even a natural language.
Frisian (fy), everyone is speaking German or Dutch there anyway.
Galician (gl), everyone is speaking Spain there anyway.
Irish Gaelic (ga), everyone is speaking English there anyway.
Maori (mi), everyone is speaking English there anyway.
Occitan (oc), everyone is speaking French there anyway.
Sorbian (wen), everyone is speaking German there anyway.
Tibetan (bo), everyone is speaking Chinese there anyway.
Venda (ven), everyone is speaking Afrikaans there anyway.
Walloon (wa), everyone is speaking French there anyway.
Welsh (cy), everyone is speaking English there anyway.
Xhosa (xh), everyone is speaking Afrikaans there anyway.
Zulu (zu), everyone is speaking Afrikaans there anyway.

...and we finally need to combine all those minor Skandinavian languages, their are also taking way to much time and space...

...there certainly is a connection between the lack of developers and the overkill of available languages in KDE... ...removing them all certainly would boost the development of KDE...

by Luis Carvalho (not verified)

I fully agree.

If people that speak some language want to translate into it, why not?

Just on a side note, I'm from Portugal. Brazilian Portuguese is spoken by much more people than Portuguese. Brazil is several times larger than Portugal. One of the things that really annoys me is that many international companies only translate into brazilian portuguese and not in portuguese. An understandable economic reasoning, unfortunately.

Although similiar, the two languages are different, not only in pronounciation, but in grammar and vocabulary as well. The same thing happens with galician, which is a blend of portuguese with spanish.

Open Source projects, being voluntary work, need not worry with the economic issues of the cost of translations, so why not translate in anything if there is a voluntary to do the work?


The translation overdose will sort the good/used/maintained translations out.

It is self regulating, isn't it?

Plattdeutch internationalization may be based on German. It wouldn't matter at all if not 100% was translated.

Only for Mennonite people from South America probably bad...

by Michael Warkentin (not verified)

There are also many Mennonite Brethren (no horse and buggy's) in central USA and Western Canada who speak Plauttdietsch, but they are dying out with many of the younger generation just speaking English. I am attempting to pick it up. There is a Plauttdietsch New Testament on www.biblegateway.com with audio. Alphabet doesn't use the German style vowels.

Now, British English is the original, KDE should be in standard (British Received Standard) English per default. :)

by Alistair Strachan (not verified)

I agree with this. It's incredibly stupid to say that translations should be removed just because, in your irrelevant opinion, they are using up space.

We should accept the reality that in every other form of media, people are used to reading and listening to their variant of a language. If a piece of software is written by an American, then I would agree that in the case of English, nobody can be blamed if that application is natively written in American English. But if somebody contributes a British (rather, international) English variant, what's the problem with maintaining this also?

The arrogance of people that presume American English is the more communicated form of English frustrates me enormously. It is the unfortunate standard precisely because software is always in American, it is never translated back to international english, because the similarities are such that it is still understood. In every respect, providing an en_GB translation with KDE is just a more refined solution, not a lazy byproduct of mass-production. It is certainly appreciated by me, and I'm British.

I would therefore agree with the opinion held by some of the more sensible posters -- open source sensibly deals with translations in the same way it does code: if your language (or feature) is not present in an application, and you would like it to be, and you are able to do that work, you probably should do it yourself. Long before you complain about it not being there.

But, please, don't remove translations just because they seem 90% similar. I'm sure that is the case, but it is irrelevant. When I watch TV, it is in British. When I read the newspaper, it is in British. And generally, when I read books printed in this country, they too are in British. I do not see why I should have to make do with American English if the work has been done on an en_GB "translation".

by Alistair Strachan (not verified)

Just to qualify what the original (and cleverly sarcastic) thread was saying -- I don't think I used a single British/International English variant of any "American" word in that post.

Perhaps maintaining en_GB is not so difficult afterall?
Sounds like search and replace to me.

Is it like this in other language variants?

by Stuart Herring (not verified)

wow, I didn't realise there was a Maori translation...

Let alone Canadian English...

Arggg!!!! It's so painful to see catalan here!!!!

Catalan is a language spoken by 10 milion people, not only in Spain BTW. It's my mother tongue, I also speak spanish, french and english.

You must understand that I speak catalan to everybody, I can speak spanish as well as catalan, but I don't use it much ... It's not a thing about: "they could use KDE in spanish" (I could do that in english too)... We are speaking of culture here...

You must understant too, that catalans speak spanish because of political imposition which began after a great defeat and has many political connotations.

When a catalan sees a computer in catalan, he/she feels "at home". Just another way to make it easy for the user.

Languages are not only for communication, they also represent a culture...

BTW: One of the strong points that free software has in front of M$ products in Catalonia is that M$ lacks catalan support in almost all their products. Soo don't drop this one... It would be so stupid!

by Delma Del Fré (not verified)

You are damn right.They ought to streamline the garbish of that language confusion.The only one that i did not get was "sorbian".Maybe you meant "serbian" which is the same as croation.Maybe.regards. delma.

The sorbs are a small minority in the east of germany.

"...and we finally need to combine all those minor Skandinavian languages, their are also taking way to much time and space..."

There are at least 20,000,000 speakers of the Scandinavian languages. What do you consider to be minor languages? Anything other than your variety of Yankee English?

You cannot combine the Scandinavian languages. Not only do they vary a lot (in some cases it would be like trying to combine German and Dutch) but you would not believe the politics involved in the language situation in Scandinavia in general. However, I will not discuss about that because it would take up too much space and is very complex.

Norwegian is my first language. Danish and Swedish are also languages. It seems many people on the outside have an idea that these languages are all very similar. They are similar in many ways, but for example I cannot communicate with a Swede or Dane, unless of course we use English or Norwegian. The differences are too great for clear oral or written communication and understanding.

You will notice that there are two traslations of KDE. One is in Norwegian Bokmål and one in Norwegian Nynorsk. These are seperate written (and spoken, more or less) dialects within Norway itself. Most people use Bokmål, and Nynorsk is used mainly on the westcoast and interior of the country. Both are official written forms of the languages, so by law, everything must be in both. It is spoken a bit differently also, and so a certain percentage of the news must also be broadcast in each speech variety (despite the fact there are hundreds of sopken varieties within these "norms" as well). Maybe it can be likened to Canada's situation of English and French being both official and everything must be in both, despite the fact most people are bilingual and the majority of French speakers are in Québec, numbering around 12-13 million speakers there. The same thing occurs in the States with Spanish being the secondary media language ( and quickly becoming a major media language in places like California, Florida, NY). If there is a market for it, they're going to do it. They're not stupid.

By the way, what about the Nordic languages Finnish (Finland), and Icelandic?
You do not mention them. Should we forget about Finnish because there are "only" 5 million speakers? Finland gave us Nokia and is one of the most tech-savvy nations in Europe, and in the world. Scandinavia and the Nordic countries are very tech-savvy, dare I say more than Canada and the states. Nearly everyone has a computer and internet access, and no not everyone speaks English, especially not in Sweden and Finland. Most people do not know much English. It is learnt in school, but many people forget because they never use it. Many people cannot read it well, so there is a need for translations into the Scandinavian languages. About Icelandic, it's spoken officially in Iceland and a large Icelandic community in Manitoba, Canada in total numbering only around 310,000 speakers in the world. However, it would be wise if KDE were to translate into Icelandic because Icelanders are not only very proud but also very tech savvy, and many refuse to use programmes not in Icelandic. Icelandic is very different from any and all languages because it is isolated. They would be well to do if they had an Icelandic version as well, if you ask my opinion.

If you didn't already know, British English is pretty much the world standard. If anything is to be eliminated from the list it should be "American" English. Afterall, it's only used in the States.

by Mikael Johansson (not verified)

Not to forget, Finland gave us LINUX. (but Linus Torvalds speaks swedish, the second language in Finland)

by Dawnrider (not verified)

Okay... You all know the Open Source rules by now.

If you want it, if you need it, do it.

If you want plattdeutsch in KDE, then gather together a translation team and start making it happen. If you can't get that together, or it isn't sustainable, then it isn't that important to people.

If people want it enough to translate everything, the KDE project will be more than glad to welcome plattdeutsch into the gathering of languages.

So no more people having a go, okay? If it's wanted, it will be done.