Thursday, April 26, 2007

Opera 9.2 Australian English language User Interface.

We have recently released the Australian English language User interface file for Opera 9.2.

To obtain the file please go to the following page

Those who know the work I do, will also know I create and maintain a range of Australian English dictionary files used by over 100,000 Australians for spell checking in projects such as:, Firefox, Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, Internet Explorer/ieSpell, Opera/Aspell and many others.

I use the prescriptive dictionary I created, which is known affectionately as the Kelvin version. (A prescriptive dictionary uses the most commonly used spelling where there are two ways to spell a word such as organise/organize.) The way I now spell is as a result of four years of working with the dictionary files.

From my perspective Australian English has its roots in British English. The Americans made some significant choices as a result of Noah Webster's work in the 1800's, but we have let time evolve our language, with influences from both the UK, US and other countries. Our version of English will continue to evolve and I like to think of Australian English as our language.

Updating the User interface file for Opera 9.2 raises some very tricky English issues and I would like to hear feedback from others.

To me there is no right or wrong with the language, just preferences.

The following are some notes I made whilst making the latest changes to the Australian English Opera user interface language file.

The spelling of words is based on the standard we use for creating the Australian English dictionary files. Further information can be found at This means the following occurs.
  • Since "online" is in the AOD, this is kept as is and so is "offline", even though it does not appear in the dictionary.
  • Toolbar is kept as is, because it is listed in the AOD.
  • The hyphenated versions of the words are used because the AOD has these entries.
    setup -> set-up, startup -> start-up
  • The "our" version of words are used: color -> colour, favorites -> favourites.
  • The "ise" variation of words is used such as "maximise". Both "ise" and "ize" are valid in Australia, however "ise" is the most commonly used variant and listed first in the dictionaries.
  • The spelling of "dialog" becomes "dialogue". Even though the programming construct is a dialog based on the US spelling, we spell dialog as dialogue in Australia.

Any comments on these decisions is welcome. If there are inconsistencies in the user interface it is most likely an oversight and needs to be fixed, so let me know.

Thanks in advance.