[libvoikko] Regional variants (Re: More languages in the LO voikko plugin)

Harri Pitkänen hatapitk at iki.fi
Thu May 30 21:23:13 EEST 2013

On Thursday 30 May 2013, Sjur Moshagen wrote:
> Here are some more languages that would have been nice to include in the LO
> Voikko plugin. The additional languages are added on the basis of
> "languages we know and more or less work on, and for which a spell checker
> will be very valuable", but we have *not* checked that all the languages
> are presently covered by the LO spell-checking languages. I have assumed
> that whatever language the LO Voikko plugin covers that is presently *not*
> recognized by LO will just be ignored by LO for now, and will be
> recognized by LO as soon as those languages are added to the LO list of
> spellchecker languages. I hope this is correct.

Yes, that is correct. I have just wanted to avoid adding the codes into Voikko 
plugin before they have been submitted to LibreOffice in order to avoid 
confusion or false expectations.

> I have also added two minority languages rarely mentioned: Danish in
> (Northern) Germany, and German in (Southern) Denmark, just in case:)

This made me wonder if we really want all of these to appear as separate 
languages in LibreOffice. I'm not a linguist so can't really know but from the 
point of view of usability it is a bit difficult to use the language drop down 
in LO when it contains really many similar entries.

The Voikko plugin has another mechanism that could be extended for this 
purpose. We allow multiple dictionaries for one language known to LO. Right 
now this can be used with private use subtags: fi-x-standard, fi-x-dialect, 
fi-x-medicine etc. But we could change the code in such way that if the plugin 
detects that there are dictionaries installed for "da" and "da-DE" but only 
"da" is listed as a language supported by LO then these two regional variants 
("standard" and "DE") would automatically appear as options under Tools -> 
Options -> Language settings -> Voikko.

How would that sound? After this you would not need any changes to LO or 
Voikko plugin in order to have simple support for regional variants. Only when 
you would like to select the variant for individual documents (or paragraphs) 
you would still need to go through the process of adding a new language.

Of course a new language that has its own primary subtag will always need to 
be added separately.


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