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  • Dzongkha Debian Linux updated for the Bhutanese people

    contributed by andremachado, published on Fri Sep 14 13:19:24 2007 in news

    At August 28th 2007, the Research Division of Department of Information and Technology (DIT) of the Bhutanese Ministry of Information and Communications updated its Dzongkha Debian Linux from the previous Dzongkha Linux 1.0 launched in June 2006. The installer is based on Debian Linux 4.0 Etch while the LiveCD is based on Morphix Linux.

    According to Pema Geyleg, head developer of the Dzongkha Debian Linux, the launch of the Dzongkha Debian Linux marks Bhutan’s move towards free and open source software. Linux is a free operating system and we customised the Debian Linux according to the need of our Dzongkha users, he said. Since Debian Linux is recognised worldwide, we encourage people to use it.

    The updated version will fully support Dzongkha computing on standard programs or applications like word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, web browsing and chatting.

    Developed over a period of 13 months and at about US$ 80,000, the upgraded version has also dual booting system. It's a bilingual software, meaning that it supports both English and Dzongkha language, said Pema Geyleg.

    DIT is aiming to develop software like text to speech, speech recognition system, and optical character recognition system on Dzongkha Debian Linux in the second phase. Text to speech program will read out text from the screen in Dzongkha. This will be of big use to people, who cannot read or write, he said. The Speech Recognition system will make the computer type any dictation. We have the capacity and are confident of doing it, said Pema Geyleg.

    DIT has also released a 222-paged book on dzongkha computer terms. Officials said that they will also conduct a training for interested people. Meanwhile, the software will be posted on Druknet soon and will be downloaded for free also at the project site. Live CDs are available at DIT.

    About Bhutan

    The Kingdom of Bhutan is a landlocked South Asian nation situated between India and Tibet, People's Republic of China, and is often described as the last surviving traditional Himalayan Buddhist culture. The official language is Dzongkha, a language from the Sino-Tibetan family. Bhutan is very committed to preserve its local culture and traditions.

    About Debian

    Debian GNU/Linux is a free operating system, developed by more than a thousand volunteers from all over the world who collaborate via the Internet.

    Debian's dedication to Free Software, its non-profit nature, and its open development model make it unique among GNU/Linux distributions.

    The Debian project's key strengths are its volunteer base, its dedication to the Debian Social Contract, and its commitment to provide the best operating system possible.