During half-term week, we joined the Welsh Assembly Government at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Cardiff Bay, to launch Welsh language support for SharePoint. Steve Beswick, of Microsoft, and Meri Huws, of the Welsh Language Board, officially launched the pack with Jane Hutt, the Welsh Assembly Minister for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills.
This follows on from the work we did a little while ago to make Windows and Office available in Welsh. We do all of this through making a free Language Interface Pack available for download, which you can then use to convert your system over.
There are already quite a few schools and local authorities in Wales using SharePoint – for example, Swansea run their learning platform on it, and the addition of the Welsh language option will extend the potential use.
As a school and centre of excellence for Welsh medium education, we have always taken advantage of new Welsh language initiatives and resources. We are very excited to see a large IT company recognising and responding to the need for more resources in our first language. I believe Swansea Edunet which is based on SharePoint will improve communication within the school, and create an effective learning community for staff members and pupils.
But why SharePoint in Welsh, and why is it so important to education? Well, the answer on the day was:
Mae Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 yn darparu lleoliad sengl, integredig lle gall defnyddwyr gydweithio’n effeithiol, chwilio am wybodaeth, rheoli cynnwys a llyfnhau prosesau gweinyddol. Mae’n integreiddio’n hawdd â systemau TGCh sydd eisoes yn eu lle, ac mae’n gymorth i wneud penderfyniadau ar sail gwybodaeth drwy cynorthwyo i staff gael hyd i wybodaeth yn haws, i’w rhannu ac i adrodd arni.
The downloads are now publicly available using the URLs below. I got a surprise checking these links – the pages are all in Welsh!