Basis for Sami-language IT support

Requirements on IT support for the Sami languages have been specified in a number of documents. The most important ones:

Request for quotations issued in 1997 by "Samisk datautvalg" (Sami Committee for Computer Standardization). The specifications in this document form the basis for the Windows plug-in software "Levi", developed by a Norwegian consultancy, for the 8-bit systems Windows 95, 98 and ME. ("Levi" is available as "free-ware" on the website of the Norwegian Sami Parliament. It is not supported by Microsoft!)

Swedish "Statskontoret" (Swedish Agency for Administrative Development) technical standards TN35 and TN36 published in 2001, "8-bit coded character sets for Sami languages" and "Support for Sami languages in Swedish data processing". These standards include the requirements in the above-mentioned document, but also specify 16-bit coding (ISO/IEC 10646 and Unicode) as well as new keyboard layouts. The computer industry has however not implemented any solutions based on these documents. They are available on the Statskontoret website

Documents developed for the Sami Parliamentary Council 2002–2003 and published by the Norwegian Sami Parliament. They are based on both the "Samisk datautvalg" and the Statskontoret publications, but constitute an extension of their contents. The base document is Sámediggi 01/850-51 "Requirements for support of Sami languages in data processing". It was endorsed by the Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish Ministers responsible for Sami affairs and the Presidents of the three Sami Parliaments in their annual meeting 2002 as "a basic document where the issue of support for Sami languages in data processing is concerned."

The base document has later been complemented with Sámediggi 01/850-86 "Recommendations for PC-type keyboard layouts" and Sámediggi 04/560-1 "Information on IT 'cultural elements' for Sami languages". The Microsoft support for the Sami languages is in conformance with these three documents, from Windows XP Service Pack 2 onwards (although some defects with regard to Sami at present exist in application software, e.g. in Microsoft Office).

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