Microsoft releases first
Windows OS in an original
Condensed by Native Village
In 1975, the first Windows
operating system was launched.
Now, 27 years later, members of
the Cherokee Nation have built
the first local language pack
for Windows 8.
"The project started with Tracy
Monteith, a Cherokee citizen in
North Carolina who worked at
Microsoft," said Julie Hubbard,
spokesperson for the Cherokee
translated over 180,000 words
for the language pack over the
last year and a half; it's the
biggest project since the
[Cherokee] translation of the
Where words had to be invented
for modern features, the
translators consulted with
elders or ancient texts for
A new user
interface font called Gadugi –
the Cherokee word for "working
version of Office
phonetic keyboard layout
for the Cherokee language
Key to the project is the
tribe's efforts to
preserve and maintain the
Cherokee language, particularly
among youth. This involves
special classes for children,
including technology modules taught solely
in Cherokee. Native speakers
also tour districts maintaining
Thanks to these efforts, the
Cherokee language users is
growing. Ten years ago, few
under age 40 spoke Cherokee.
Today, over 3,000 people speak
fluent Cherokee and are
increasingly using it in day-to-day conversations.
"Today technology is deeply
integrated into our everyday
lives – if that technology is
not provided in the user's
native tongue, then they will
use whatever language is
accessible to them,"
said Carla Hurd from Microsoft.
"That is why Microsoft believed
it was important to work with
the Cherokee Nation Language
Team on creating access to our
products in their language."
Windows, however, is lagging
Mac OS has supported the
Cherokee language since 2003,
and a Cherokee
version of iOS was built two
years ago. Like Windows,
the Apple version was built with
the help of Cherokee
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