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Macedonian Women Contribute To The Localization Of Free Software
Jordana PetruĆĄevska | 26 October 2005


The Metamorphosis foundation and Free Software Macedonia (FSM) organized a 54-hour, non-stop marathon in which volunteers translated free software from English to Macedonian. The event was held on September 16-18th in Skopje, Macedonia and proved to be a great success.


Recognizing the importance of localizing free software, the marathon focused on making software more accessible to computer users within Macedonia. The software package was issued under the Lesser General Public License (LGPL) and thus provided an opportunity to use the software free of charge. FSM provided technical support in installing the Linux Operating System and the appropriate translation programmes. The conference for Localization of Free Software, which was held in Belgrade on July 1st-3rd, 2005 was very helpful in preparing and organizing the marathon.

The marathon was divided into three seven-hour shifts per day in order to provide each translator with a computer. The participants had to submit an application and individuals were chosen from all over the country, with the only pre-requisite being knowledge of both English and Macedonian. Some of the participants had limited computer knowledge and for them the marathon provided personal advancement, an increase in self-confidence, as well as further improvement of their computer skills. The amount of women who participated in the marathon highlights an important increase in those who possess ICT knowledge and skills. In addition to being translators some of the women were given the responsibility of proof-reading. The event served as a catalyst to bring women together with a focus on technology and its importance in Macedonia. At the end of the marathon, the most dedicated participants were recognized by the Metamorphosis foundation. It is also important to note that none of the women who participated in organizing the event or in the marathon itself had a Degree in Computer Technology. This proves that computer skills can be gained through dedication, determination and of course, hard work!





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