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Date: Thu, 07 Nov 2002 06:14:47 -0600 (CST) From: Don Osborn <email@example.com> John, The localization of Mozilla for South African languages is the result of a software localization project - see http://www.translate.org.za/ . The other factors you mention certainly support this effort, as does the language policy environment of the country. South Africa, more than most countries on the continent, seems to have taken to heart the goals and ideals of the 1986 OAU Language Plan of Action and the 1997 Harare conference on African language policy. Re the Mozilla localization issue, some technical aspects were touched on in a brief discussion on "a12n-collaboration."* Where modified characters are iunvolved, such as in Hausa, keyboard layouts are also an issue, which has been another topic there and on "Hausa charsets & keyboards"** (and a couple of associated language-specific fora). Another issue related to the browsing issue is localization of the search engines - Google actually has Hausa on the list of lannguages in which it forsees localization. A problem here is how they will handle Unicode characters in the search engine interface. Anticipating this a bit, Andrew Cunningham developed a feature with a popup keyboard for the Hausa "hooked" letters (it works, you can search a word with a hooked letter that is on the Bisharat site and find the page). These have been discussed also on the abovementioned fora, for which I give the URLs below. Ultimately localization of Hausa and other languages of the region will need some sort of concerted effort - the South African example may offer valuable lessons in this regard. This is a quick response, but hope it helps. Don --