At the launch of the first mobile phone handset to be available with a Welsh interface by Orange and Samsung at the National Eisteddfod in Bala, the Minister said:
"I would like to congratulate Orange and Samsung for voluntarily developing a handset which has a Welsh interface and also offers a Welsh predictive texting facility.
"Orange is the first company within the telecoms industry to take such this important step. They are setting an example to other companies of how to offer excellent customer services to their customers in Wales. This development also shows that they recognise not only the benefits of offering services through the medium of Welsh but also the importance of responding to the needs of their customers here.
"As a Government, we want to increase the number of Welsh speakers - and in order to do that - it's important to be able to have services and technology available in the language so that people can live their lives through the medium of Welsh."
Yesterday, the Minister also launched a free, online version of Cysill, a programme to check Welsh spelling and grammar, which has been developed by Canolfan Bedwyr at Bangor University.
The Minister continued:
"The future of the Welsh language depends hugely on ensuring that the language can play a central part in the daily lives of our citizens, from our communities to our workplaces to education. ICT can help this process. It is great to see developments in modern technology considering the needs of Welsh speakers and providing them with practical and useful services. This is also the reason behind the Welsh Assembly Government's request for the right to legislate in the field of the language which will lead to a Measure that will create rights for Welsh speakers in service provision."
Other Welsh language technology developments include the launch of Microsoft Sharepoint in Welsh during the Urdd Eisteddfod this year. Microsoft SharePoint is a highly advanced collaboration platform which allows people to host websites, intranets for businesses and provide common learning platforms to share teaching materials and resources and connect the learning community. Earlier this year, a telephone system, developed by CSG Ltd of Bridgend which is compatible with the Welsh language was also launched.
04 August 2009