The localization of Free and Open Source Software in Cambodia is very important, that the language will not be a barrier to access technology, development, and learning. The localization of free and open source software is to ensure that local language is available to as many people as possible, and Cambodians can learn and use the computer in their own language, which does not have to change to the new language (English) in order to use computers. Free and Open Source Software makes software affordable while localization bridges the language barrier that helps people to fully comprehend and utilize the benefits of ICT.
Localization is the process of adapting software for local use in different cultures; it comprises translation of the programs and their adaptation to local culture (time, date and currency differences). In general, being limited to use the software in a foreign language tends to exacerbate the digital divide, makes basic computer training long difficult and expensive, impoverishes local culture, blocks computer-based government processes, and does not allow those who do not know English access to jobs that require the use of computers.
Localization is probably the single most important added value for end-user Free and Open Source software. In countries in which no proprietary software has been translated to the language, localization brings very strong competitive advantage to FOSS; enough to break the fear-of-change barrier to adoption. In countries in which proprietary software has already been translated, localization is a requirement for FOSS to remain competitive
In order to start localization of a computer desktop and of computer applications, it is first necessary to make sure that these will be able to work in the script normally used to write that language. The language itself must also be known to the systems. This part of the localization process requires a study of the script, the inclusion of the script in international standards, the developments of fonts and keyboards, the development of computer programs that will be able to interpret the fonts and display the language correctly, the inclusion of cultural data (such as number and date formats) in the different platforms and – finally – the preparation of the most important applications to use the language. After all these steps have taken place, it is possible to start the actual translation of the programs
Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is a software for which the human-readable source code is made available to the user of the software without any cost, who can then modify the code in order to fit the software to his/her needs. The source code is the set of written instructions that define a program in its original form, and when it’s made fully accessible to use, Programmers can read it, modify it, and redistribute it, thereby improving and adapting the software
List of top 3 Free and Open Source Softwares localized into Khmer
#1. Operating System
Ubuntu and Open Suse are open source software operating systems that run from the desktop which are localized into Khmer for learning and training. Not only operating systems are translated but also the user guides for both of operating systems- which are used for teaching and learning.
#2. Office Suite
OpenOffice is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. Not only full office suite is translated but also the user guides- which is used for teaching and learning.
#3. Web Browser
Firefox is a free web browser is fully localized into Khmer, not only this application was translated into Khmer but also the manual – which is used for teaching and learning.
The localization software into the local language is very important that it can help many people who do not know English can use computers for their daily works. The localization of Office productivity suite, Internet browser, and E-mail client are very important for old government officials and the young be able to use computers without learning English first.
The Advantage of Free and Open Source Software localization:
- Reduced reliance on imports
- No need for local users to learn English first
- Local programmers gain expertise and experience
- Local control over software appearance and functionality
- New local technical standards and educational opportunities
- Localization of applications can be prioritized according to the national needs
- Languages that are nationally important but financially unfeasible can be used