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Centrally manage and enforce multiple Celtic language user interface localisations in Microsoft Windows domain environments

Author: Mícheál Mac Lochlainn, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh.

Published 31st August 2013.

Updated 18th October 2013.

Baochas

Táim fé chomaoin nách beag age mo dheigh-mhnaoi, Máire Ní Neachtain, a chonaic deiseanna, a d'ardaigh ceisteanna, ⁊ a spreag chun feabhais me, agus an obair seo agam á déanamh.

Keywords

Irish, Gaelic, Scottish, Manx, Welsh, Cornish, Breton, Celtic, localisation, globalisation, translation, internationalisation, language, Microsoft, Windows, Internet Explorer, Office, Language Interface Pack, Multiple User Interface.

Introduction

Non-techies welcome here

Although it is technical enough, I've tried to write this article in such a way that non-techies, maybe those who work in multilingual environments or who just want to learn more about this kind of localisation, can get something out of it — even if they only cherry-pick. (This is why there are quite a few explanations and desciptions that no competent techie would ever need.)

Background

This article and the localisation management method it describes are completely self-contained (although the method is compatible with this technique for installing Irish and other Celtic language user interface localisations on Windows domain workstations). The article assumes a certain amount of background knowledge though so if you're interested in the subject of managing UI localisation in corporate or institutional network environments but are not familiar with the basics of localisation, it might be helpful to have a look at this article first.

The Celtic languages (ref) are the Goidelic languages (ref) of Irish (ref), Scottish Gaelic (ref) and Manx (ref), and the Brythonic languages (ref) of Welsh (ref), Cornish (ref) and Breton (ref). Microsoft Corporation currently provides localisation packages that render the UIs of recent versions of Windows, Internet Explorer and Office in Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Welsh. (See these screenshots.) For the time being though, there are no similar localisation packages available for Manx, Cornish or Breton.

Windows user interface management and lockdown

This article documents a simple method for centrally managing and locking-down UI localisations on domain-based Microsoft workstations where Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Welsh localisation packages have already been installed. (It doesn't matter what method was used to install them, as long as they're there.)

Although it can used to manage single-language localisations, this method was really designed to support collaborative, multilingual working environments where several UI languages have to be available on some or all workstation machines. It establishes a network infrastructure that recognises speakers of these different languages (including English, so as not to exclude anglophone monoglots) when they log into their own or any other workstation and automatically presents them with the appropriate localised UI. Since the method is based on Active Directory and Group Policy functionality, it is particularly useful in corporate and institutional environments where business policy specifies the enforcement of one or more specific UI languages on workstation machines. It can be deployed on new networks or dropped into existing ones.

The potential benefits of this facility, not only in multilingual environments but also in monolingual ones where the lingua in question is not English, should be immediately apparent. The method is not limited to Celtic language contexts either, since it can be used to deploy and manage other languages, in various combinations, as long as Microsoft is after releasing suitable localisation packages for them.

Spell- and grammar checking

This article isn't concerned with the deployment of document proofing tools like spelling and grammar checkers but they always seem to be the first thing people ask about whenever I mention any aspect of UI localisation. This brief discussion about Celtic language document proofing tools for Microsoft Office might answer some questions.

Of course, there's always the non-volatile, platform-independent, reader-agnostic, user-proactive, functionally-educational original spell checker :-)

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