[Scottish spellchecker] Spellbinding Development for Gaelic

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[Scottish spellchecker] Spellbinding Development for Gaelic

Message par drouizig » jeu. avr. 19, 2007 3:09 pm

31/10/2006

Half a million words are helping to ensure Gaelic continues to cement its reputation as a language of the future, not the past. The Gaelic spell-checker, launched today, has over 525,000 words and is designed to provide a useful everyday tool as well as helping to unite Gaelic users behind a nationally agreed standard.

Half a million words are helping to ensure that Gaelic continues to cement its reputation as a language of the future, not the past. The Gaelic spell-checker, launched today, has over 525,000 words and is designed to provide a useful everyday tool as well as helping to unite Gaelic users behind a nationally agreed standard. The European Language Initiative's spell-checker project - Pròiseact an Dearbhair – has taken less than three years to complete.

An important feature of the spell-checker is that it is available for downloading free of charge from the gàidhlig air-loidhne website run by Learning and Teaching Scotland. The first version now being launched is designed to operate on computers using Microsoft Word, part of the Microsoft Office suite of programs. Versions for use with other types of software, including open source, are currently in development and will be announced shortly.

In welcoming this new development the Education Minister Peter Peacock stressed the importance of its timing, being launched soon after the publication of the second edition of the Gaelic Orthographic Conventions (GOC) .

"Gaelic has a proud history and we want it to have a flourishing future. The launch of this spell-checker is proof, if proof were needed, that Gaelic is a living language. For the growing number of people who are learning and using Gaelic, I'm sure that this will quickly become an invaluable tool in their daily lives"

The spell-checker has been produced by The European Language Initiative (TELI), the same team which created the official English and Gaelic dictionary for the Scottish Parliament– Faclair na Pàrlamaid – and its associated Interactive Online Service. TELI has worked in close association with colleagues at Dublin City University and the Irish Institute of Linguistics, who had previously devised the spell-checker for Irish.

The total cost of the work amounted to some £105,500 which includes all the technical infrastructure in addition to the linguistic aspects of the project. The budget was shared by a consortium of sponsors (in alphabetical order): Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Comunn na Gàidhlig, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Scottish Executive Education Department. The Microsoft Corporation generously provided the search engine, valued at $23,000, which had been developed for use with Irish.

The project's director, Clive Leo McNeir, head of The European Language Initiative, thanked the Minister, the sponsors and all those who gave their encouragement throughout this challenging venture.

"I would like to make it clear that the spell-checker is being offered as a support to the Gaelic community, not an imposition. Its first year of operation should be regarded as a consultation period. We invite everyone to participate and contribute to the project. We would like to know if there are extra words that should be added, or if any errors are spotted. No database of this size can expect to be perfect. Working together we can make a good tool even better."

Bòrd na Gàidhlig chairman Matthew MacIver said:

"This is a very welcome development for Gaelic and is a great achievement by TELI. Recently, a number of important initiatives have been put in place to strengthen the Gaelic language and ensure its consistency and relevance in the modern world and other bodies such as LTS, SQA and HIE should also be commended for their role in this. This spellchecker should be widely publicised and I am confident that it will be of great use to Gaelic speakers and learners at all levels and is another important step forward for Gaelic."

PLEASE NOTE: Machines that use an earlier Gaelic spellchecker (SMO/Roy Wentworth) should remove it before installing this new version, as it may cause the machine to run slow.

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