KDE Cross Cultural - Experiences From The KDE Localization Process In Cambodia
Speaker: Jens Herden
Localization is a complex process where many different aspects have its share. Technical and cultural aspects get mixed happily together. You have to deal with different languages, complex scripts, different thinking and cultural expectations.
This talk wants to show where the obstacles are and where solutions can be found. It takes Cambodia as an example but almost all aspects are valid for one or the other country as well. The covered aspects are:
- complex script
- input methods
- keyboard shortcuts
- native digits
- Buddhist calender
- language features of Khmer
- other cultural observations
This talk is particular relevant for software developer who want to make their code "localization ready", localizer who want to see what is going on in other countries, people who are interested in Asian culture and everyone who wants to broaden his/her mind.
Cambodia is a country in South-East-Asia, surrounded by Vietnam, Thailand and Laos. Cambodia has its own language "Khmer" with its own script. The Cambodians are struggling hard to overcome poverty and the consequences of the long period of war. Until recently there was almost no software in Khmer language available. By the standardization of Khmer in Unicode the foundation was created to change this. Open Source took the lead in this process and by now there is OpenOffice, Firefox/Thunderbird and KDE available in Khmer. Even OpenSuse 10.1 can get installed in Khmer. All this was done by a small project called KhmerOS. Thirteen Cambodians are working with two foreigners and a government agency together in this project in order to provide software that can be used in native language.
Jens Herden is a 41 year old German who has been using computers since the age of 14. Previously he studied mathematics and computer science but never finished his studies. He also learned to work as a plumber and as a volunteer fireman. Currently he is working for Quanta and for the KhmerOS project in Cambodia, where he has been living together with his wife for almost four years.