Norwegian language movement says: "Boycott Microsoft - use KDE instead"

The organization Norsk Målungdom, which works with promoting the Norwegian (Nynorsk) language, asks Norwegian schools to boycott Microsoft products and use KDE instead. MS Windows and Office only exist in the Norwegian (Bokmål) language, but Norwegian law states that pupils have the right to books and equipment in their own language.

So far, Microsoft has claimed that a translation to Nynorsk will be too expensive. Virtually all schools in Norway use MS software, and that means all applications are in Bokmål.

Since KDE now provides both Bokmål and Nynorsk, Norsk Målungdom wants schools to use KDE instead of MS Windows. This can put pressure on Microsoft to create a Nynorsk version, but more importantly, it can spread Linux and KDE to more users.

Iceland (250 000 people) has got Windows translated, but the Icelandic government had to pay a lot for it. Norwegian governments are so far not willing to subsidise Nynorsk Windows translations the same way. There are twice as many Nynorsk users than Icelanders.

"Small" languages really have their chance with free software. Anybody can translate it, and earning money is unimportant. Even non-technical people can understand the benefits of open-source software when they see the results of translation - a result commercial companies never can achieve. One can't complain about the price, either ;-)

This article (Norwegian) appears today in the Norwegian paper Dagsavisen.

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by Mats LG Rosen (not verified)

Excellent idea. This would force the clergy-men in Rome to use latin from the beginning instead of italian. l

by Jonathan Bryce (not verified)

> Dont know though, if there are untranslatable
> words (internet, file manager,...)

File Manager should be translatable. The Romans must have had papyrus files, and would be required to manage them. I guess you would take the Italian word for Internet.

by Federico Cozzi (not verified)

The "Italian word for Internet" is...

I'm one of the KDE Italian translators. I can tell you that Italian computer language is very similar to English - lots of words go untranslated.
Only IBM OS/2 and - to a lesser extent - Apple tried to translate technical jargon into Italian.
In fact, using Italian OS/2 is quite funny....

On the other hand Latin translates much more words than Italian. They even have words for "television", "telephone" and so on...

Speaking about "strange" languages: you can try KDE in Esperanto. The Esperanto team is one of the best translator teams.

by tom Duff (not verified)

First of all, Download helps

Second of all, "Internet" IS ALREADY a latin means "Web connection". an "Interstate" highway connects states, and an "Internet" connects servers, or nets (networks). That's all the internet is...a string of different servers, and the "Web" or "net" or "internet" is literally the wires connecting those networks.

by Per Wigren (not verified)


Internettus, filus managrus etc :)

by Knut Hamsun (not verified)

Fuckus internettus

by joey (not verified)

i need a latin 2 english translator

by I.R. Ravenwood (not verified)

I need help with Latin translations, too. Any priest willing to help would be sincerely appreciated.

by Caity (not verified)

Y'know, there is this guy in the vatican who is specifically paid to come up with new latin words, so the Pope can still say his sermons in Latin. Afterall, we wouldn't want the pope to not be able to tell us that we shouldn't drive drunk with guns, now do we?


along with reps from Portuguese speaking african colonies (one of whom was African - i.e. not a colonist).

They sat down went over the dictionary and standarized spelling (and some grammar) ... since then Radio and TV have have made the pronunciation mutually more comprehensible and a sort of "international Portuguese" evolved (same thing for Europeaan, North American and Caribean Spanish and French - for some reason U.S. Americans have trouble understanding other forms of English let alone other languages, but for other linguistic groups TV and Radio have helped to *stop* language divergence).

Given other historical developments the language tension in Norway seems monumentally silly. Nynorsk is more of a cultural purity thing than anything else (and ironically seems more like a created language than Bokmal does now), and Bokmal works *everywhere* in Norway. When I lived there it took me several months to even notice the difference (flame away). I wasn't interested in learning the subtleties of two dialects (especially since in Oslo I could practically get by in English anyway).

Hebrew had to be *reinvented* from scratch 50 years ago - it too was mostly a "fake" or "book" language at the time but with Jews from all over the world coming to Palestine the choice was Yiddish or Hebrew - even though probably the majority of the European origin population spoke Yiddish the locals spoke Hebrew and it was the most effective and strangely a "new" language for a new country (less German sounding maybe). It was hard work but they *decided* and got on with it. Norwegians should be glad more of the world *doesn't* know about their silly little language battle.

I blame Denamark for extermenating our "real" language.Bomb Denamark!.

They have ugly royals, so do we.

That never actually happened, although it's commonly taught in Norwegian schools. (And Danish schools; national romanticism works both ways.)
We don't really know how the Danish written language came to be fixed, but national borders were different then. The king's writers could have been Swedish, Norwegian or Danish by today's strict standards.

Most of this period, Danish wasn't much used at all; the army was commanded in German, the church and all learned men used Latin; in the 18th century, Copenhagen had a French-language newspaper; Danish didn't really come into its own as a written language before Ludwig Holberg (born in Bergen, though he could have cared less about his Norwegianness- national romanticism wasn't invented yet) wrote some plays and essays in the language. However, in one play, he lapses into Dutch for comical effect, and although he had a royal privilege for Danish plays, he lost the competition against a German troupe.
People just didn't feel very strongly about which language they belonged to in those days-.

by Zachary Kessin (not verified)

Well modern Hebrew is more than 50 years old, more like 100 or so, it was recreated in the early years of the Zionist movement as the language of Israel. It should be noted that while many of the Jews coming from Northern Europe spoke Yiddish, the Jews from around the Medeteranian spoke Laddino (Jewish Spanish) and those from other places spoke Arabic and Farsi etc.

Hebrew is the only example of a dead language being brought back to life.

by Carlos (not verified)

Hi Zachary,

I wouldn't say hebrew was brought back to life, simply because
it never died! It was the language spoken by hundreds of
thousands of jews in their religious services, or when
reciting their daily prayers to G-d.
Obviously there was the need to create thousands of new words
to address the new uses of the language.

by EunJoo (not verified)

I think that what Zachary intended to say was that Hebrew was not used as a commonly spoken language in times past and hence, it was "brought back to life" as a daily language in the past century. Indeed it was used in religious services/daily prayers throughout the millenium. Nevertheless, it was Aramaic that was used as the commonly spoken language as a lingua franca in the Near East and then Arabic.
I find it particularly amazing that even though "thousands of new words [were created] to address the new uses of the language," Hebrew still maintains its Semitic qualities, such as the trilateral root.

by Katie (not verified)

Ok. But its not just a matter of creating new words. I still don't understand how, even all these people ( the citizens of Israel) came to adopt a language new to them as their mother language, for all everyday uses, and started thinking in it, speaking to their children etc, if they originally spoke other languages- which is quite ddifferent from using a language only for certain puposes, such as ritual. It's a historical gap I have here ( and many friends as well). I'd be grateful for any comment or indication.

by Phillip Sorensen (not verified)

That's interesting, Katie. I had a Jewish father, born in the UK but parents from Warsaw, and an English mother but fortunately they stayed together and I had the benefit of both cultures and was, and am still, in touch with both sides of the family. My cousin David Reed emigrated to Israel with his parents when a small boy and I was amazed how quickly he became fluent in Ivrit. I still remember his calling our pet budgerigar 'yelled tov' (pretty boy!) on a visit back to England. He married an Israeli whose family escaped from Breslau (Wroclav) but is now in Australia where my brother also lives - he is a Professor at the University of New England in NSW. Incidentally, I have always thought the rule that a Jew inherits via his mother an absolute rule of convenience for primitive ancestral conditions. It is common sense that it does not matter from which side Jewish ancestry is derived - the effect is the same on the person!

I would be glad if Norway could have fixed this issues in the 1920s too. I had to learn Bokmål in school and found out as an adult how bad it really is compared with Nynorsk. So than I decided to change in an age of 21. You seams to mean that bokmål is good enough (language of choice). And I wonder why should I choose a language which is worse? Nynorsk has the norweegian logic, Bokmål the danish. (Nothing bad about the danes.) Why should I write in another language than the natural.

Since the portugeese, spanish and many more dosn't have this option it might be understandable that you call it a silly language battle. And as far as I know did you spend the most time in Oslo where the wast majority use bokmål. Not a good referance if you ask me. Anyway I think you have got something wrong when you brush aside Nynorsk as just a cultural purity thing. Also that you may use bokmål everywhere dosn't mean anything else than that we do understand bokmål as well as all the many hundreds of dialects used in Norway daily. Bokmål and Nynorsk are for me our written languages, and of them are nynorsk the closest to the majority of the people. The thing that most people learn bokmål in school must only be understood as a result of bad luck.

Yes we want more computer programs in Nynorsk and less silly jokes about our language battle. It's anyway a sharming battle run by pencils and keyboards, so if you need some tip's about silly battles, look around... :-) HKNy

by James Clarke (R... (not verified)

I'm having trouble getting Japanese localisation working in KDE 1.1.2.
I can read Japanese web pages in Netscape and I can read Japanese text in KTerm. But I can get the KDE to display Japanese Text all I get is garbage. Can anyone help me?

by Jeramie Maratas (not verified)

Did you solve this problem. Please let me know your solution. Im having the same problem. :)

by Freddy Diaz (not verified)

SOLVED!!! (or at least for me)

I had this very same problem with Kde 3.3 on slackware 10.1 while atempting to set language locale to japanese, or any other non-roman character language, the only thing I got on screen was blank squares. I downloaded the last kde-i18n-ja available by the time from (kde-i18n-ja-3.4.2.tar.bz2), once I installed the package and reboot the system everything was ok.

I agree that one of the more interesting things of free software is the possibilities that offers to traslate it to any language.

Kde is a very good example of this. But it can be better.

I am compiling the kde-i18n package. A huge one with a lot of languages, but I don't need all of them. In fact, I suppouse that majority of machines don't need more than two or three languages.

It would be a nice thing to be able to install only a subset of the languages, in an easy way.

I am using Redhat 7.0, and I have not found this possibility.

Any way thanks for your work.

Where did you get the source? At (the main KDE ftp is busy, this is a Swedish mirror) there are separate packages for all languages.

I use SuSE, with nice RPMs available for each language. KDE doesn't control how the distributions organise their packages, though.