New Aussie words to be included in the Australian language option in Microsoft Office 2007
Sydney, Australia – 15 May, 2006 – For the first time, Microsoft’s Australian subsidiary is putting forward a list of Aussie words for inclusion in the next version of its suite of productivity software products, known as the 2007 Microsoft® Office system. The aim is to make this latest release more user-friendly for Australians by including some quintessential Aussie words.
Words such as ‘g’day’, ‘sickie’ and ‘jackaroo’ were selected by a panel of Australian experts who, while ensuring certain criteria were met, discussed and selected words considered most relevant to everyday Australians. Microsoft has always tailored its products to local markets with the inclusion of local spelling, regional place names, rivers and geographic landmarks, names of major organisations and local celebrities and stars.
“Microsoft Office is the most widely-used productivity software in Australia. While Office features an already comprehensive Australian spelling option, based on the Macquarie dictionary, we felt that many commonly used Aussie words were being left out. We approached the Office 2007 development team and they agreed to include a selection of new Aussie words. So we called together a panel of leading experts on Australian language to help us start to make our selection,” said Mr Tony Wilkinson, Director of the Information Worker Business Group, Microsoft Australia.
- Mr David Blair, Founding Member of the Editorial Committee of the Macquarie Dictionary
- Mr Peter FitzSimons, Sports Writer, The Sydney Morning Herald
- Mr Adam Spencer, Radio Host (ABC 702’s Breakfast Show), Comedian and Mathematician
- Dr Ruth Wajnryb, SMH columnist (“WORDS”), Director of LARA Consultancy (Language & Research Associates) and consultant to Collins Dictionaries
- Mr Tony Wilkinson, Director of the Information Business Group, Microsoft Australia
“While most Australian words and spellings are already included in Microsoft Office, we saw the upcoming release of Office 2007 as a great opportunity to do more,” said Mr Wilkinson.
“You can expect to see a lot of new things in Office 2007. It will look and feel quite different and the way you interact with Microsoft Office Word, PowerPoint®, Excel®, Access® and Outlook® has been redesigned to make it easier to find and use program capabilities. Put simply, it will allow people to do things faster and more easily. We see the inclusion of Aussie words as an integral part of that goal and urge other multinational companies to think about truly localising their products.”
Some of the words being considered are:
“While English has become a worldwide language, it is not a uniform language. Many varieties can be heard in Australia, in films and television programs, as well as from the school playground, immigrants and tourists, and it is a great initiative from Microsoft to recognise Australian culture in its new version of its Office product,” said Mr David Blair, Founding Member of the Editorial Committee of the Macquarie Dictionary.
People can vote on the popularity of the words suggested by the panel at www.microsoft.com.au and it is expected that the final words that make the cut will be announced in June 2006.
The 2007 Microsoft Office system will be available to business customers by the end of this year 2006, and more broadly to Australian consumers in 2007. The software is currently at “Beta 1” stage and “Beta 2” is expected to be available for customers to trial soon.
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