OpenOffice.org in three SA languages for Software Freedom Day

Published in Tectonic

In celebration of this weekend’s global Software Freedom Day, Translate.org.za is planning the release of the OpenOffice.org suite in three South African languages. The popular free software office suite will be available in Zulu, Afrikaans and Sepedi. Tswana is also included but in beta form.

Dwayne Bailey of Translate.org.za says that they have built an OpenOffice.org installer that includes all of these languages. The default install is in English but once installed the user can quickly switch between the different languages.

Translate.org.za is a a South African software translation project that has spent the past two years developing this software with the sponsorship of the Shuttleworth Foundation, the Department of Communications, CSIR, Obsidian Systems, Hewlett Packard South Africa and St James Software.

”We are about to launch the first African language word processor in a South African language,” said Bailey. ”This is the first African’s-helping-Africans, no-strings-attached free software word processor. It has always been my dream that one day fellow South Africans would be using computers with quality software in their mother tongues.”

Translate.org.za translator, Thobile Mhlongo said ”Using OpenOffice.org in Zulu was phenomenal. Seeing my language used on a computer made me think of all the school children, grannies and other proud Zulu speakers who will use this software.”

The translated versions of OpenOffice.org will be officially launched on August 28, the date of the first annual Software Freedom Day. Software Freedom Day will be celebrated worldwide as well as at a range of venues across South Africa.

The aim of Software Freedom Day is to make the world more aware of the virtues of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), and encourage its widespread use.

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