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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 August 2006, 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK
Texting in Welsh just got easier
Texting Welsh
The programme predicts Welsh words as you type
Mobile phone users frustrated by how long it takes to write messages in Welsh can try out a new predictive text programme.

The software, which predicts Welsh words as you type, has been launched by the Welsh Language Board at the National Eisteddfod in Swansea.

Welsh language texters previously had to add words manually to their phone's dictionary - or type the slow way.

The service will be available free for a trial period.

Users have to download the software directly onto their mobiles.

The Welsh Language Board said they were keen for as many people as possible with suitable phones to take part in the pilot.

Long Welsh phrases made easier by predictive text
Penblwydd hapus - Happy birthday
Os gwelwch yn dda - Please
Llongyfarchiadau - Congratulations
Pob lwc yn y gystadleuaeth - Good luck in the competition
Ti'n yr eisteddfod? - Are you at the Eisteddfod?

It is part of their long term strategy to normalise Welsh in IT.

"I think that Welsh speakers who wanted to text in Welsh found it difficult," said Dr Jeremy Evas, leader of research at the Welsh Language Board.

"We're hoping this three month trial will help them and help us to develop an excellent service."

The trial period for predictive texting in Welsh was launched by the Welsh Language Board on its stand at the National Eisteddfod on Thursday.

Dr Evas said interest in the software had been very large.

"We are looking for comments back from the public as to how we can improve the programme at the end of the trial," he said.

'Send comments'

"We are hoping to launch the final version, free of charge, before the end of the year or in January."

Board chief executive Meirion Prys Jones said: "This is a quick and easy way to type text messages on your mobile. This programme can help anybody who texts in Welsh."

Its development reflected the importance of technology when promoting the use of Welsh, he said.

Mr Jones added: "We would encourage everyone to take part in this trial, to contribute to this new and exciting development and to send in their comments.

"The board strongly believes that tools need to be provided to make it easier for people to use Welsh and that they be accessible, for example, on the web."

Instructions on how to download the software onto your mobile phone are available from the Welsh Language Board's website.

Or they can access the software directly from their phones by logging onto http://wap.tecstio.com.



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