Endangered languages get Moodle support

Did you know that the Moodle open-source software is available in over 100 languages?
That means that, whether you are in Beijing, Berlin, Budapest, Buenos Aires or many other countries in the world, you can easily navigate through your Moodle site in your native language.

Administrators can install extra languages directly within Moodle from the Languages section of Site administration by selecting the ‘language pack’ of their choice:

But that’s not all! Moodle’s global community is so rich in volunteers that Moodle also gets translated into lesser-known, minority and even endangered languages. Here’s just one example:

Ever heard of Lower Sorbian?

Unless you live in the Brandenburg state of Eastern Germany, you might not be aware of this language, known as Dolnoserbski. According to the Endangered Languages Project, which lists over three thousand languages, Lower Sorbian is in a “threatened” state with barely seven thousand speakers.

Now, however, thanks to the efforts of Uwe Kuhmann in Cottbus, Germany, all Dolnoserbski speakers can use this language in their Moodle sites. And that’s great news for teachers…

Teaching tip:

Languages teachers: you have an excellent opportunity to give your students extra practice as they tackle your materials. Simply change your course language to the language they are studying from the Edit settings link. They’ll then experience the instructions and prompts in that language, learning by stealth…

No doubt teachers who speak Dolnoserbski will be doing just that to promote their endangered tongue.

Want to help support a language?

Anyone can help contribute to Moodle’s many language packs. You can either suggest improvements to an existing language or you can start a completely new pack with a language – such as an endangered language – which has not yet been translated. And don’t worry if you feel you don’t have time to translate every single phrase in Moodle: your language pack can be a subset (or “child”) of a main (“parent”) language, so if you haven’t translated a particular term, its original translation from the main, parent language will display. Dolnoserbski (Lower Sorbian) works just like this: any phrase not yet translated is displayed in German, the parent language pack.

If you’re interested but would like more information on what’s involved in being a volunteer translator for Moodle, let our Moodle Translation Coordinator, Koen Roggemans, tell you all about it.

Want to get started straight away?Head over to Moodle’s translation site, lang.moodle.org! And if you’re inspired by Lower Sorbian and are looking for a language to get started on – there’s always Upper Sorbian!

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