[Unicode Announcement] The Unicode Consortium Releases CLDR, Version 1.8

From: announcements@unicode.org
Date: Wed Mar 17 2010 - 09:59:03 CST

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    Mountain View, CA, March 17, 2009 - The Unicode Consortium announced
    today the release of the new version of the Unicode Common Locale Data
    Repository (Unicode CLDR 1.8), providing key building blocks for
    software to support the world's languages.

    CLDR 1.8 contains data for 186 languages and 159 territories: 501
    locales in all. Version 1.8 of the repository contains over 22% more
    locale data than the previous release, with over 42,000 new or modified
    data items from over 300 different contributors.

    For this release, the Unicode Consortium partnered with ANLoc, the
    African Network for Localization, a project sponsored by Canada's
    International Development Research Centre (IDRC), to help extend modern
    computing on the African continent. ANLoc's vision is to empower
    Africans to participate in the digital age by enabling their languages
    in computers. A sub-project of ANLoc, called Afrigen, focuses on
    creating African locales.

    The Afrigen-ANLoc project's mission is to create viable locale data for
    at least 100 of the over 2000 languages spoken in Africa, and
    incorporate the data into Unicode's CLDR project and OpenOffice.org.
    Implementation of fundamental locale data within CLDR is a critical step
    for providing computer applications that can be localized into these
    African languages, thus reaching populations that have never before been
    able to use their native languages on computers and mobile phones.

    The Afrigen-ANLoc project selected approximately 200 candidate
    languages, including all official languages recognized by a national
    government and all languages with at least 500,000 native speakers.
    Additional languages were incorporated when volunteers stepped forward.
    Data was collected through the Afrigen-ANLoc project by native-speaking
    volunteers around the world, entered via a web-based utility designed
    specifically for this purpose, and then merged into the CLDR repository.
    In all, over 150 volunteers gathered locale data for 72 African
    languages, with data for 54 of those incorporated into the CLDR 1.8
    release. 41 of these languages are completely new to the Unicode CLDR
    project while 13 others existed in earlier versions of CLDR and were
    enhanced with additional data. These languages are spoken in 26
    countries across the entire African continent.

    "The partnership with Afrigen has been a huge benefit for us," says John
    Emmons, vice-chair of the Unicode CLDR technical committee and lead CLDR
    engineer for IBM. "The Afrigen effort has allowed us to bring many new
    languages on board that we wouldn't be able to do through our normal
    process, while still maintaining the level of quality and consistency
    that we require for every language."

    For more information about Unicode CLDR 1.8, see

    The Afrigen-ANLoc data collection tool was developed by Louise
    Berthilson of IT46 (http://www.it46.se), and the project is managed by
    Martin Benjamin, director of Kamusi Project International
    (http://kamusi.org). For more information about the African Network for
    Localization, see http://www.africanlocalisation.net. For more
    information about the Afrigen-ANLoc project, see
    http://www.it46.se/afrigen. For more information about IDRC, see

    About the Unicode Consortium

    The Unicode Consortium is a non-profit organization founded to develop,
    extend and promote use of the Unicode Standard and related globalization

    The membership of the consortium represents a broad spectrum of
    corporations and organizations in the computer and information
    processing industry. Members are: Adobe Systems, Apple, DENIC eG,
    Google, Government of India, Government of Tamil Nadu, IBM, Microsoft,
    Monotype Imaging, Oracle, The Society for Natural Language Technology
    Research, SAP, Sybase, The University of California (Berkeley), The
    University of California (Santa Cruz), Yahoo!, plus well over a hundred
    Associate, Liaison, and Individual members.

    For more information, please contact the Unicode Consortium.

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