Localisation specifications

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    Posted: 30 May 2005 03:15 AM

    We are all different (voices off: I’m not!). There are 180-odd countries in the world. I live in one of them, New Zealand, and the majority of the rest of you don’t. My country has a flag. Not a particularly prepossessing flag, but until there’s enough of a groundswell (this isn’t called the Shaky Isles for nothing, you know), it’s not going to change. Here it is:

    If you’re familiar with both the British and the Australian flags, you’ll see the similarity: the Union Jack in the corner, and the stars of the Southern Cross. We’ve got four and they’re red, the Australians have six and they’re white. Many people, from both our countries and many others, confuse them.

    There have been moves recently to replace our flag (you’re waiting for the computer reference now, I can tell), to something like the wonderful Hundertwasser:
    ,
    or, for us trendy lefty liberals, the Tino Rangatiratanga (roughly: tino - intensifier, rangatiratanga - chieftainship) M?ori flag:

    Its symbolism is redolent of M?ori mythology and heritage: The black represents Te Korekore, the realm of potential being, the long darkness from which the earth emerged, as well as signifying Rangi - the heavens, a male, formless, floating, passive force. The white represents Te Ao Marama, the realm of being and light. It symbolises the physical world, purity, harmony, enlightenment and balance. The red represents Te Whei Ao, the realm of coming into being. Red is Papatuanuku, the Earth Mother, the sustainer of all living things.

    So why (your patience is appreciated) did Apple, in the flag glyph for the M?ori keyboard, choose that of the United Tribes, from 1834?

    It was picked by James Busby to be the official New Zealand flag, but the United Tribes represented only 25 chiefs from the far north of the country, and certainly wasn’t recognised across the country. At the very least it was superseded by the Union Jack at the time of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 and the current flag in 1902, although it is still recognised by a few M?ori in the Far North, but pretty much only by them. It was never a specific pan-M?ori flag.

    I am intrigued as to why and how Apple came to pick it for the glyph. Did they ask somebody in Renaissance, the local Apple representatives? Did they Google it? Are there other flags for other keyboards that are contentious? Why is there an Australian keyboard and not a New Zealand one (but a M?ori one)? Why are there Welsh and Irish keyboards and flag glyphs but not Scottish? With its population of 47,000, how come Faroe Islands has a flag and keyboard distinct from Iceland (with which it shares many alphabetic and linguistic similarities)?

    Who makes these decisions?

    [ Edited: 10 December 2009 03:11 PM by Laurie Fleming ]

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  • Posted: 30 May 2005 04:47 AM #1

    LOL. ROFL. LOL. ROFL (again).

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  • Posted: 30 May 2005 08:52 PM #2

    Right, now that I’ve recovered.

    Three words: Americans and geography.

    Sidebar: Australia is not next to Hungary :wink:

    Oh, and my vote goes to the Tino Rangatiratanga. That’s a bloody bewdy.

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    Posted: 31 May 2005 04:33 AM #3

    The use of the United Tribes’ flag is an interesting and amusing anomaly, but that doesn’t truly annoy me. What does is that there are keyboards (and flags) for Iceland and Faroe Islands, with a combined population of around 300,000. There’s even one for Northern Sami! New Zealand has a population 14 times that, but doesn’t warrant a keyboard. Does Apple assume that we’re so similar (hah!) to Australia, we won’t mind using theirs? With all due respect to Australia, it’s another bloody country. Simple patriotism (the first resort of a scoundrel) will preclude our accepting that. The Americans wouldn’t accept having to use a Canadian flag, and vice versa, so why should we?

    Getting back to the M?ori keyboard, the word M?ori itself has a macron above the ‘a’, denoting a longer sound. I’ve had to put an umlaut above it, because phpBB doesn’t accept the macron, and anyway it’s a commonly accepted substitute; alternatively the spelling can be changed to Maaori. However, next to the flag on the menu bar, the word Maori appears as such. So Apple has done three things wrong:

    a) used a flag that is not commonly accepted by M?ori, or at least hasn’t been for over 100 years
    b) taken the care to allow macrons in the keyboard, but not used it in the keyboard’s name
    c) not provided a keyboard for English-speaking New Zealanders

    Fie on you, Apple, fie!

    [ Edited: 10 December 2009 03:13 PM by Laurie Fleming ]

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  • Posted: 31 May 2005 01:41 PM #4

    Another + for Tino Rangatiratanga. (if you figure I cut & pasted that, you figured right :eg:)

    Count me as one of those who get the NZ/AU flags crossed up pretty regularly. How did it come about that they’re almost identical? Imagine the confusion if Canada had a flag with 40-something stars, and red/white stripes in the opposite order from the US flag.

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  • Posted: 31 May 2005 02:48 PM #5

    Well, DR, there are historical parallels between Australia’s and NZ’s flag - British Empire and all that but… that’s water under the bridge now <rimshot>

    There is also a movement in Oz to change our flag, largely due to a desire to get rid of the Union Jack.

    But among all the options, the most appealing, IMHO, relies on the colours of the flag of the Australian indigenous people - black, red and yellow.

    No suggested flag options come close, however, to the <cut and paste flag name here> that LaurieF has displayed in this thread. I could march into battle behind that flag any day, figuratively speaking.

    Hey, LaurieF, if you’re not using that flag, do you think we could borrow it?  :wink:

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    Posted: 10 December 2009 03:36 PM #6

    Four years on, and Apple still hasn’t done anything about it. We’re still having to pretend that we’re Australian or British (an anomaly in its own write), and the M?ori Tino Rangatiratanga flag has acquired more official usage, even being flown on Auckland Harbour Bridge next year, and at the Prime Minister’s official residence, Premier House.

    So I’ve taken matters into my own hand. I downloaded Ukelele, a freeware application which allows for editing of keyboards. I took a copy of the Australian keyboard and renamed and saved it as New Zealand in /Library/Keyboard Layouts. Using Icon Compositor I made a .icns representation of the New Zealand flag.

    I then took a copy of the Maori keyboard, saved it as M?ori (but with a macron, not an umlaut), along with the Tino Rangatiratanga flag, logged out and in again, and now things look as they ought.

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  • Posted: 11 December 2009 12:21 PM #7

    I’m curious what are the exact differences between keyboard layouts used in AUS and NZ? The reason I’m asking is, there are differences between layouts for UK, CAN and US keyboards, hence separate entries in keyboard layout options.

    I have the same (similar) beef to pick with Apple. Serbian keyboard layout is currently represented by the flag of FR Yugoslavia. The country ceased to exist over three years ago, and even before that, the language name was Serbian (as it has been for centuries). Serbia always had a national flag (even during the years of union in Yugoslavia), three horisontal stripes and a coat of arms:


    Meanwhile, Apple gives us the old flag of a non-existent federation:

    Yugoslavia was officially dissolved in 2006, and during its final two years of existence, its name was Serbia and Montenegro. I can kind of understand using the Yugoslavian flag for a language that was common in the whole country; after all, during the years of communist Yugoslavia, the language was called Serbo-Croatian. However, since the wars of the 90s, Croatian became a language, Bosnian became a language, and recently, even Montenegrin became a language. So, this specific Cyrillic keyboard layout has been used for a language called Serbian for at least 18 years. Even if we look only at the time since complete dissolution (2006), Leopard, as well as Snow Leopard were released, and this has not been corrected.

    Considering all the ethnic baggage the region keeps carrying (and bloody conflicts experienced by pretty much every single generation of the region since Slavs moved in around 7th century AD), it would be wise for Apple to tune into these sensitivities a bit and fix this damn flag. There is a vibrant graphic design community in Serbia (disproportionally large, considering the country size and economy), and almost all of them use Mac.

    [ Edited: 11 December 2009 12:37 PM by vasic ]      
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    Posted: 11 December 2009 02:16 PM #8

    There is no difference between the New Zealand and Australian keyboards, so copying the Australian one using Ukelele was the work of a moment. I actually use the UK keyboard layout from time to time (for the ? symbol), and the Polish one (because I’ve been singing in Polish recently - it’s a long story). I would imagine the difference between the Canadian and US keyboards would be the French accents, since French is an official Canadian language. (M?ori has the same status here.)

    All I can suggest is that you send a request to Apple to change it, but don’t expect anything to happen in a rush. However by using Ukelele you could do as I have done. It’s pretty easy and I’m sure you can cope, but if you have any problems, drop me a line.

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  • Posted: 11 December 2009 02:24 PM #9

    Plus - MobileMe syncing screws up any dates in Contacts (Birthdays etc) if you are located in New Zealand. - And has done for many, many months..  So while you’re fixing the NZ keyboard, Laurie, can you fix this too? Because Apple can’t.

         
  • Posted: 11 December 2009 03:30 PM #10

    Laurie Fleming - 11 December 2009 06:16 PM

    All I can suggest is that you send a request to Apple to change it, but don’t expect anything to happen in a rush. However by using Ukelele you could do as I have done. It’s pretty easy and I’m sure you can cope, but if you have any problems, drop me a line.

    The old flag in that menu doesn’t bother me much; what bothers me is Apple’s perceived ignorance on the issue. We don’t know about MS, since Vista doesn’t use flags together with names (I don’t know about Win 7), but I do know that MS has done a complete localisation of Windows XP (and all subsequent ones) in Serbian. For all those postal workers, bank clerks and others sitting at a computer, this must mean a lot, since very few speak anything than their mother tongue. For the rest of the population, it is extremely awkward to look at Windows and see Cyrillic everywhere (“Start” menu says: “????????, ?????????, ??????????, ????????, ????? ? ???????, ???????...”). We don’t have Mac localisation yet (market is too small), but at least they could get our flag right, after all these years and several major system releases. I wonder if I was the only one to report this to Apple (and I did after Tiger, Leopard, as well as Snow Leopard releases).

    Bums me out!

         
  • Posted: 03 March 2011 02:55 AM #11

    Slightly off on a tangent, is there a way to make my mac display all the menus etc in Maaori? I used to love it when I used Ubuntu with all the menus in Maaori.

         
  • Posted: 25 July 2011 12:15 PM #12

    Resuscitating an ancient thread, just to update the status of an issue I brought up two years ago. Lion has finally fixed the language flag for Serbian language. The icon displayed for it is now that of the Serbian flag, and no longer the one of a long-ago defunct Yugoslavia.

    Someone at Apple has finally decided to listen.

         
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    Posted: 02 August 2011 04:45 PM #13

    That’s outstanding. Thanks for keeping this one current, vasic!

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