Microsoft Windows and its various programmes provide a range of language support across many local languages and dialects.  This support may be available as:

  •  A full version of Windows in the language (of which there are few)
  • Functional support by way of a "Language Interface Pack"
  • Language and locale settings

We can ignore any possibility of getting a full Old English language version of Windows or Word, nice as it would be. We might get a Language Interface Pack if academic Englisc users develop it on Microsoft's templates.

A limited form of support also appears in Word, allowing the text to be set in any one of many local languages and dialects and for Latin. For a few of those languages a spell-checker is included.

How could we enable these resources to include Old English?

Language Interface Packs and Language PacksEdit

The difference between a Language Interface Pack and a Language Pack is explained here:

What is the difference between an office language interface pack and an office language pack? - Technet

For Old English, we would be looking, I believe, at a Language Interface Pack, though more limited support than that might be all we need at least as a first stage.

A Microsoft adviser has written saying:

I have not yet seen one for a language that is more a subject of academic study than day to day use. But I do not see any reason there should not be one for such a LIP. Usually created with the help of a 3rd party specialist. A good example being the Welsh LIP, created in partnership with the Welsh language Board. [1]

Language and locale: what does it give? Edit

Microsoft Word has some inherent language support for many languages, dialects and national usages.  Within the standard issue of Word one will find a number of optional "locales"; which include some 18 versions of English, with individual national usages.

This "language and locale" support can be seen on the drop-down language menu in Word. It is more limited than the support in a language Interface Pack, probably sufficient for most purposes.

We need the technical terms, but generally from observation, this language support found in Word comes with two options, apparently; with or without the spelling checker and grammar checker.

To have a look at which languages are supported in this way in Windows on your computer and to what extent, open Word and choose Tools, Language, Set language; the drop-down list shows all languages with any sort of support. It will be different on different computers, but the list will include not just the major languages but endless dialects and Latin. It marks specifically those with full support (on mine those have a tick-ABC icon).

Realistically, the best we could hope for is the limited support with no spelling check nor grammar check.

Basic locale supportEdit

What we would get with basic Word support for Englisc would be:

  • Appearance in the list as an Language option
  • Days and dates (though there are two versions of month names; scribal and popular)
  • Alphabetical order A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z-Ð-Þ-Æ-Ƿ
  • Numbering: letters A to Ƿ, not just A to Z

We might also ask for:

  • Specific form of Roman numerals (iiij, not IV)
  • Specific punctuation marks (following those in Ælfric's works)

Full Word supportEdit

Full support includes:

  • Spelling check
  • Grammar check


  • Can we practically extend it to the forms of Roman numerals?
  • Should we look to extend it to the forms of punctuation as suggested or can we modernise that far?
  • Should we abandon Arabic numerals?

(I would urge keeping Arabic numberals at least, as they are too useful and one can go too far; authenticity is a good thing, but we would be preferring one foreign-derived system, Roman, over another, Arabic / Hindu. In the same way, we should not drop letters like J and V!)

Windows language and localeEdit

Custom locales are possible and may be written privately:

A full Englisc Windows version?Edit

I have not explored this, but another level would be to be able to set the whole of Windows up to produce in Old English:

  • Commands
  • Help menu

Who would do the translation though?

Microsft web pagesEdit

For reference, look at:

Language and localeEdit

Custom locales are possible and may be written privately:

Microsoft Custom Locales

Language Interface PacksEdit

Language Interface Pack (LIP) downloads

"With Office Language Interface Pack (LIP) packages, desktop users can experience frequently-used Microsoft Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word features in their native language. In addition, the packages allow users to switch between the LIP language UI and the full Microsoft Office program language UI installed on the user's computer."

Local language programmeEdit

MS Language Programme site

"Through the Microsoft Local Language Program, we are introducing people worldwide to the benefits of technology. We partner with governments, universities, and local language experts in order to support our software in as many languages as possible. We strive to find new ways to create economic opportunities, develop customized IT solutions, and preserve local languages and cultures. Empower your community by providing it with desktop software and tools in its own language."

Next stepsEdit

We need:

  • To find someone who can programme a customised Old English locale.
  • To find a suitable and suitably interested University department to apply to Microsoft to develop an Old English Language Interface Pack
  • To sort out how it will deal with the issues described above, and then learn how to provide the code to create the Language Interface Pack.

Thanks to the Englisc List for this material.