Wed, 27 Oct 2004

Softcatalà wins the National Internet Prize of the Catalan Government

The people at Softcatalà have been awarded one of this year's National Prizes for Television, Radio Broadcast, Internet and Telecomunications of the Generalitat de Catalunya, for the Internet category.

Softcatalà is a non-profit, volunteer organization that has been working since 1997 to bring Catalan to the IT world and normalizing its usage. These people have been translating software for many years, and need to take most of the credit for the current situation of Catalan in the software world. While Softcatalà ocassionaly works on non-free software translations, with the rise of Free Software the focus of their work has clearly shifted towards it. They are responsible for the widely distributed Catalan translations of OpenOffice, Mozilla products, GNOME and even books like Stallman's Free as in Freedom. Besides the translations, one of the big achievements, in my eyes, is that their Style Guide and Wordlist are the de-facto standard policy documents when translating software into Catalan. Maybe involuntarily or as a secondary goal, they are bringing many, many people to GNU/Linux just because currently it's the only way that people have to use their computers integrally in their mother tongue.

I officially joined Softcatalà when I started working on GNOME 1.5 translations, and today's announcement has filled me, like the rest of the team, with a nice, warm feeling for this unexpected reward for many hours banging at Emacs po-mode.

Today is a big day for the Catalan Free Software communities. Congratulations, everyone!