Foundation for Endangered Languages

Home | Manifesto | Membership details | Proceedings | Grant Applications | Newsletter | Links | Bibliography


5. Brief Conference Report

Minority Language Software Development (Batheaston, 17-18 November 1997) Batheaston Villa, Bailbrook Lane, Bath BA1 7AA England An International Conference/Seminar, organized by MEU Cymru in association with Linguacubun Ltd (with support from the EC Minority and Lesser-used Languages Fund)

Purpose of the Conference
The minority languages software conference set out to share developments in computer software for minority languages and promote further developments and plan future collaboration.

At the conference, delegates:
_ set minority language software development in a European and world context
_ discussed the priorities for development for their respective languages
_ presented current products and work in progress
_ discussed and agreed on the most effective means for collaboration
_ established possibilities for future development and prospective collaborative projects.

The conference comprised talks and presentations, software demonstrations and workshops, discussionsand a final plenary session.

Opportunities for Future Collaboration
All delegates agreed that collaboration offered many benefits for the future. CDs and other products were exchanged with a view to considering possibilities for producing version in the other languages. Similar difficulties faced all present, with budgets limiting what could be developed. By sharing resources and maintaining contact with each other for future developments, there was a lot to be gained.

In order to focus future collaboration, all present agreed that they should form the Lesser-used Languages Software Developers’ Association which each expressed in other languages:
English: Lesser-used Languages Software Developers’ Association
Breton: Kevredad ar Saverien Poelladoù er Yelhoù Minorelaet
Euskara: Hizkunta Gutxitven Software Garatzaileen Elkertea
Welsh: Cymdeithas Datblygwyr Meddawedd Ieithoedd Llai eu defnydd
Irish Gaelic: Cumann Lucht Forbartha Earra Bhoig do Theangacha Neamhfhorleathana
Scots Gaelic: [Not present at the meeting]
French: Association pour l’Informatisation des Langues Moins Repandues
Spanish: Asociación de Desarrolladores de Software para Lenguas Minoritarias

LULSDA - Aim and Objectives

The aim of the Association is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its members through mutual collaboration.

The objectives to fulfil this aim were defined under three heads:

1. to collaborate on joint projects, taking advantage of economies of scale
2. to adopt multilingual approach to developing software so that new products are easy to translate
3. to provide a copy of developed material to fellow members if requested, with a view to publishing a translation
4. to foster the exchange of personnel e.g. students on placement to aid multilingual development;



Distribution and marketing
1. to offer software produced in one language for adaptation to other languages for distribution in those countries, based on a standard mutual distribution agreement
2. to exchange marketing ideas and approaches;

1. to maintain a network of World Wide Web pages
2. to influence major software developers to adopt a multilingual approach to software development
3. to maintain contact with related organisations, and inform them of our work
4. to represent the association’s interests in negotiations with companies
5. to encourage other minority language software developers to join the association;
6. to maintain monthly communication between members by e-mail
7. to meet once a year, seeking funding support to facilitate this.

List of Participants
Meurig Williams - Director
Colin Bennett - Programmer
Paul Ivins - Programmer
MEU Cymru, Unit A16/A17, Gwaelod y Garth Road, Treforest Ind. Estate, Pontypridd, South Wales, CF37 5XF, UK (+44)-1443-941790, meurig(at),

Ronan le Coadic, Director
TES, 30 Rue Brizeux, 22015 Saint-Brieuc Cedex, Brittany, France (+33)2-9668-1450, tes(at),

Guy Mercier, Voice Dictionary Project Leader
ENSSAT, 6 rue de Kerampout, BP 447, 22305 Lannion Cedex
(+33)2 96 46 50 30, guy.mercier(at)

Inaki Irazabalbeitia,Director
Elhuyar, Asteasuain poligonoa, 14 pabilioia, Txikierdi, 20170 Usurbil, Spain (+34) 943 363040, elhuya01(at)

Michael Everson, Proprietor
Everson Typography, 15 Port Chaeimhghein êochtarach, Baile çtha
Cliath 2, Ireland (+353) 86 807 9169, everson(at)

Joan Parra, Professor of Translation
ELTAO (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona) E-mail ilfia(at)

Kenneth Matheson, IT coordinator for Schools,
Isle of Brue, Western Isles, Scotland (+44)-1851-840291, k.matheson(at)

Tim Beeby, Sales Manager for Wales and the Midlands, Xemplar Education, The Quorum, Barnwell Road, Cambridge CB5 8RE
(+44)-1223-724724, tbeeby(at)

Nicholas Ostler, President of the Foundation for Endangered Languages, and Director Linguacubun Ltd, Batheaston Villa, 172 Bailbrook Lane, Bath BA1 7AA (+44)-1225-852865, nostler(at)