Microsoft has teamed up with Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the Gaelic development agency in Scotland, University of Strathclyde and Learning and Teaching Scotland to produce Microsoft software in Scots Gaelic.
The venture will mean that Scots Gaelic will be the third Celtic language after Irish and Welsh to become a Microsoft computer language and is a significant step forward. The project was funded with a 45, 000 pound grant from the Bòrd and will be launched in September 2007.
However, no such provision exists for the Breton, despite the fact that it is one of the most widely spoken Celtic languages. In refusing to fully officially recognise Breton, the French Government is holding up the development of the language, the speakers of which are consequently missing out on the opportunities that the officially recognised Celtic languages are experiencing.
EBLUL France and the Association des Rencontres des langues et cultures régionales ou minoritaires have recently launched an online petition calling on the French Presidential candidates to conform to international law, modify the French constitution so as to give official recognition to its regional languages, to ratify the European Charter for Regional of Minority Languages and to give the regional governments that have regional languages the means to develop them.
The League has also written to the French Presidential candidates in order to ascertain their position on the recognition of the Breton language and people.
The petition can be found at (voir le site) and Microsoft's website at www.microsoft.com has further details of downloading the Welsh and Irish language interfaces.
J B Moffatt Director of Information Celtic League