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An Entire Operating System in a Local Language PDF Print E-mail

By David Okwii, TechPost.

This time, we're reviewing an operating system that's almost entirely translated into a local language in this case Luganda thanks to the tireless efforts of Mr. Kizito Birabwa. I caught with Mr. Kizito last month at Mozilla Uganda's anniversary where he show cased what looks to be Mandriva a variant of Linux operating system with the LXDE desktop manager.

Most of the Graphical User Interface(GUI) has been translated. For instance, for open there's "Bikkula", for "Go to" ,it's "Genda ku", for "copy" as you might have guessed it's "koppa", for "Move" it's "Situlawo".

But Mr. Kizito didn't just stop at translating the GUI. He also dived into one of the most powerful tools(for advanced users) on the Linux operating system -- the shell or the command line, the equivalent of DOS on windows.

Mr. Kizito had to this to say;

"The main aim of the work that I have been doing is to get the underlying Linux system localised (i.e. the non-X environment). There are quite of lot of files to work upon, each containing several thousand strings to be translated. Coreutils and Bash are the first priority."

And when asked about the availability of the project;

"By-products of this work are a growing glossary of terms and a dictionary. When the website is back up, these will be available there."

We at the TechPost think that this localized Operating System can act as a gateway for some local communities especially those without much understanding of English to understand and use computers in their daily lives.
If you would like to get in touch with Mr. Kizito, please email the TechPost( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) as we don't have the permissions to display his contacts here.

For the rest of this post, here is a tour of the system. Enjoy!

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