No its not some new geekspeak you'll end up having to buy the "dummies" guide for but some of the local dialect vocabulary we want to celebrate as part of our quest to localise Microsoft Office.  Kudos to the first person that can translate the title of this post..img028

Today, on St.Georges day and as it happens, the birth and deathday of Shakespeare, we began our project to create local custom dictionaries for Microsoft Office.  It was a privilage to meet Johnny Robinson (below and right), the curator of English accents and dialects at the British Library.  Johnny and I were doing a series of interviews (I think about 20!) with local radio stations today to enlist the help of people all over the UK with the project. 

Do you know a word that people use from wherever you are from in the UK that we could add?  if so please will you email the word, a definition and where in the UK it is used to dialect@microsoft.com

IMAGE_041We'll be gathering in all these amazing and  interesting words over the next few weeks until the end of May and Johnny will be judging which words should go into a set of custom dictionaries we will then create.  These will be available to download in June which will mean Microsoft Office will understand your local dialect, spell checking words correctly instead of giving you the red wavy line.

We'll also be giving away 5 copies of Microsoft Office to a random selection of entries - there is no limit to the number of times you can enter. 

 We should be proud of the rich heritage in local language dialect we have in the UK - for 1500 years, these variations have been developing and changing.  It's been 50 years since the last survey of this type was done in the UK and it took 11 years to complete.  Now by using new technology we are going to try and do it in about 6 weeks.  I was so impressed by Johnnie's knowledge and his ability to do pretty much any accent thanks to his detailed knowledge of phonetics.  It was great to hear the range of locals who phoned in - including one caller from Norfolk who sounded like he was actually driving his tractor at the time and had to shout "SORRY!" to some passerby during his call :-)  The lead story on Norfolk radio today was regarding a coffin that had been found left in Norwich high street.  We also had "Ugly Phil" on Kerrang! radio making jokes throughout and Radio Belfast quizzing me on my Norn Irn phrases learnt growing up with my irish parents.. (I hope I didn't let down the side there!)