Scottish Gaelic language support now available for Microsoft Office

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*Goireas-taice litreachaidh ri fhaotainn ann an Gàidhlig a-nis airson Microsoft Office

Hot on the heels of Burns Night, Microsoft has today announced that Scottish Gaelic is the latest addition to the 95 languages and dialects supported by proofing functionality in Microsoft Office. It means that 60,000 speakers of the language in Scotland plus Scottish Gaelic speakers elsewhere will benefit from spell check functions in Microsoft Office 365, Office 2013 and Office Online from today.

Speaking at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh today Chris Forrest, Managing Director of Microsoft Scotland was alongside Dr Alasdair Allan MSP, Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Language and Daibhidh Boag, Head of Gaelic Usage at Bòrd na Gàidhlig (Scottish Language Board). He said: “This is the result of several months of hard work with our partners at the at Bòrd na Gàidhlig and we are proud that Scottish Gaelic speakers will now be able to use the features of Microsoft Office in their preferred language.”

The Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages Dr Alasdair Allan said: “This is an important step forward for old and new Gaelic speakers alike. On the one hand, it acknowledges the currency and enduring vitality of the language and will help raise its profile through social media and online, giving it even greater prominence and connecting even more speakers from across the world. I hope others will follow Microsoft’s lead in supporting the thousands of speakers and the Gaelic businesses contributing significantly to our economy.”

Scottish Gaelic is an ancient language and its origins can be traced back to the 4th century BC. Although originating from Irish Gaelic, the language has evolved to be distinct in its own right. Development for nearly 100 languages supported in Microsoft Office from Albanian to Zulu is carried out by the Microsoft Natural Language Technology team in Dublin. They are able to tap into local language experts as well as vendors that specialise in each of the languages.

In some cases Microsoft utilises deep machine learning expertise to ensure popular Office services such as Word and PowerPoint offer the best experience possible to users. However, other aspects of language development still very much rely heavily on human involvement and it can take around two years to bring a new language or dialect to users. In bringing the Scottish Gaelic functionality to life, the teams at Microsoft and Bòrd na Gàidhlig were helped greatly by Gaelic-speaking crime-writing author Leo McNeir who developed the original lexicon upon which the spell checker is developed.

The Scottish Gaelic language pack for Microsoft Office 365 or Office 2013 is available today, please download it from (select Scottish Gaelic in the drop down menu) http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/download/details.aspx?id=35400

Alternatively for 10 facts about Gaelic which you might not have known please go to: http://www.gaidhlig.org.uk/home/

Source: Microsoft UK.

 


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