Today is International Mother Language Day, an annual event created by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity.

Take a look at the story of how Microsoft came to support 96 languages for Windows 7 and Office 2010. It’s the story of the creation of the Microsoft Local language Program and how it all began:

While visiting a government office in Vietnam nearly a decade ago, a Microsoft employee noticed one of the employees had Post-It® notes all the way around her computer monitor. The notes weren’t daily “to-dos” or grocery lists, but English-to-Vietnamese translations of common Microsoft Windows and Office commands such as “file,” “save” and “print.” At the time, there was no Microsoft software available in Vietnamese. “It dawned on us that our user experience could be localized even more in order to make our technology more available, and the Microsoft Local Language Program was born”.

Read the full article here.

To install Windows, Office or Visual Studio in one of the 96 languages available, visit the redesigned Local Language Program site.

If you need to translate software or IT content into your language and want to know how Microsoft translate IT terms, visit the search tool on the Microsoft Language Portal.

Microsoft and International Mother Day

You can read more about the United Nations program on the UN International Mother Languages Days site.