back to article Mind your language: Microsoft set to swing the axe on 27 languages in iOS Outlook

Word has reached Vulture Central that Microsoft is to retire support for 27 languages in iOS Outlook from the end of June 2020. Sent to a Register reader yesterday, the "Major Change Update Notification" spells the end for languages such as Afrikaans, Persian, Latvian and Urdu as far as Outlook for iOS is concerned. The …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

    These countries/nationalities now don't exist in the world according to Redmond!

    This move won't go down well amongst the Irish-American community or Dublin for that matter. Perhaps Dubin will think again about the tax status of MS. That would be interesting.

    I have to wonder what it really costs to support these languages given the obscene level of profits the MS is generating these days.

    What will be next for the chop eh? Hindi? Urdu? Cantonese? British English?

    1. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

      While I sympathise with the plight of Irish, I can (sort of) see the logic of stopping support for a language withe low use levels and for which it must be difficult to find competent translators. Welsh is usually in a much better position but still suffers these things. I not Welsh is not on the list. Does that mean it isn't supported anyway, or it has survived the chop?

      As for Urdu, the article specifically mentions it!

      M.

      1. nematoad Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

        "... Irish, I can (sort of) see the logic of stopping support for a language withe low use levels"

        I'd like to see you explain that to the people living in the Gaeltacht. Irish law gives equal rights to Gaelic and it is used both in daily life and in the proceedings of the Dail, law courts and in legal instruments. As to the status of Gaelic as opposed to Welsh, they are roughly similar in that they are both protected in law and used by a proportion of the general population and government. Oh, and on the topic of "competent translators" most, if not all, of the speakers of Gaelic or Welsh are bilingual and actually speak English as well! Sometimes better than monolingual English speakers, Trump comes immediately to mind. Covfefe, anyone?

        You don't have to live on an island to be insular and MS have just proved this by axing languages that people rely on. Are they going to pay for foreign language classes for those denied the use of their mother tongue?

        1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

          Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

          The last known monoglot (Irish) Gaelic speaker, Seán Ó hEinirí, died in 1998. Only around 20,000 people in the Gaeltacht use it on a daily basis. An interesting ethnofolkloric curiosity, but as a useful language it is effectively dead.

          1. GremlinUK

            Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

            Who are you to judge what level of daily use is useful to a given community?

          2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

            Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

            Irish is not dead, and it is a useful language. But it's an interesting example of how official policies can have the reverse of the intended effect.

            The Gaeltachtai are meant to protect the language, but in fact they let everyone else forget about it, as it's 'safe' in the Gaeltachtai.

            And, another interesting factoid, I believe more people use Scots Gaelic on a daily basis than do Irish!

            But what is the 'use' or 'value' of a language? Any language? It's to communicate of course - "Me wantee drinkee", but it's so much more. Knowing a variety of languages opens the mind to the possibility of difference. Different languages can reflect totally different world-views, based on a very different history and culture. Languages do not map word-for-word from one to the other via a dictionary (although I have met people who seem to think they do). It's interesting to see how different languages refer to colours, for instance. A colour name sometimes doesn't match a range of wavelengths. In some of the Celtic languages (like Irish and Welsh) the same 'colour' is used for grass and sea/lakes

            As software users we should be well aware of this as a problem - USian software that not only comes in any language so long as it's US English, but also thinks the world does everything the same way as they do in Arkansas. Actually we don't all have addresses or phone numbers in US format.

            Treat yourself, learn another language - several preferably - from different families, and open your mind. 350,000+ now learning Scots Gaelic on Duolingo, 1 million learning Irish and 440K learning Welsh!

            1. MJI Silver badge

              Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

              I have rejected software tools before for insisting on US date formats.

              Also I INSIST on being able to wrapper stuff to correct spellings.

            2. Muscleguy Silver badge

              Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

              And Scots Gaelic is a protected language very like Irish Gaelic. Which reminds me I started a Duolingo course in Scots Gaelic. I must get back to it.

            3. A.P. Veening Silver badge

              Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

              but also thinks the world does everything the same way as they do in Arkansas. Actually we don't all have addresses or phone numbers in US format.

              And most of us use a more sensible date notation than month-day-year.

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

              >440K learning Welsh

              That explains why I haven't been able to get any consonants off aliexpress for ages.....

          3. This post has been deleted by its author

          4. Bob Magoo

            Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

            You don't need to be in a Gaeltacht to speak Irish daily. From the CSO on the 2016 census: "Of the 1,761,420 persons who answered yes to being able to speak Irish, 418,420 indicated they never spoke it, while a further 558,608 indicated they only spoke it within the education system. Of the remaining group, 586,535 persons indicated they spoke Irish less often than weekly, 111,473 spoke weekly while just 73,803 persons spoke Irish daily."

        2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

          Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

          "competent translators"

          Being bi-lingual does not make you a competent translator. It is an acquired skill. Bi-lingualism means you happily switch from one language to the other, but that is not the same as having both languages working in the brain at the same time, which is needed for simultaneous translation.

          My Welsh has been acquired as an adult, and I frequently can't remember what "x" is in the other language, even though I technically do know it, and would have no problem using the word if I switched languages.

        3. vtcodger Silver badge

          Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

          As to the status of Gaelic as opposed to Welsh, they are roughly similar in that they are both protected in law and used by a proportion of the general population and government.

          Are you suggesting that the activities of American tech companies might be subject to the rule of law? That's not going to sit well in some quarters.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

          Basque is also an official language here. And that means that those using devices and programs handed by government or public entities MUST provide the option to use them in that language.

          This could be fun...

        5. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

          I'd like to see you explain that to the people living in the Gaeltacht

          Check my posts - as a speaker of Welsh, known to use it occasionally in day-to-day life (including at work), and living and working among people who live as much of their lives as possible through Welsh, I agree with what you are saying.

          There is some kind of logic to dropping minority languages however, particularly if you are not yourself a user of those languages, and posters here (and elsewhere) regularly prove the point - as I see someone has done a little down the thread.

          A lack or otherwise of truly "monoglot" speakers (you'd be hard pushed to find monoglot speakers of any language, in many countries other than England) nor indeed of the total number of people who are either capable of using the language or actually do use it regularly should not be a criterion for sidelining any particular language.

          I posted because the Urdu thing was actually mentioned in the article. Urdu can hardly be described as a minority language, yet it's still on the drop list. Why?

          One possible reason is lack of professional translators. Yes, most fluent speakers of two languages could make a good stab at translation, and indeed many open source projects rely on such people, but "a good stab" isn't good enough for something people are paying for and in some circumstances there are actually rules about this sort of thing.

          For example, my wife has been a BSL user since childhood, has worked her entire career with deaf children, holds a "level 3" qualification in the language and has been known to interpret on a non-professional basis. Interpretation, much like translation, when done professionally has to be done correctly, particularly where absolute clarity and accuracy is required. It's one thing for my wife to interpret a church service for any BSL users who turn up, but she would never dream of standing in for a professional interpreter at (say) a court hearing or a medical consultation.

          It's a sad fact that languages with small numbers of users have even smaller numbers of people with sufficiently high level knowledge of the language to undertake professional translation work.

          Welsh is privileged in that since the mid 20th century there has been a revival in a language that up until then was being actively suppressed. As a result, there are now more speakers than (probably) there have ever been and use in the formerly dwindling heartlands is still relatively strong.

          On the whole.

          Where half the houses in the village haven't been bought as holiday homes by residents of Birmingham.

          So Welsh has a small but steady supply of professional-grade translators, but they are in great demand. There are probably ten times as many Welsh speakers in Wales as Irish Gaelic speakers in Ireland.

          Sorry, rambling.

          Companies and public bodies should do everything they can to support these languages but particularly with companies there often comes a point where they can't or won't or simply are a bit thick about how bi- or multilingualism works. It's a matter for debate how these companies should be dealt with.

          M.

      2. NATTtrash Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

        OK, so let me point something out here (for which many will not like me, I do apologise. Please mind the rant...).

        It's all very good and well to mention Welsh, American-Irish community and stuff. But these are by many regarded as dialects. Local variations within a country. Even if you call your province a country and enter it as such into football and rugby matches. Historic remnants. Interesting, respectable, absolutely worth preserving. But are they the main language of a full blown country?

        Having said that, it is remarkable that these dialects/ historic remnants seem to survive the axe, while there are some "normal languages" on this kill list. Like the hack mentioned, spoken by many, and more important, on the list as the language of an official geographic entity, called a country. So, no doubt influenced by my own heritage: it is somewhat weird to see Icelandic and Norwegian on there, but not Swedish or Danish. And that has to do with "it must be difficult to find competent translators"? Really? Didn't you hurt yourself during that remark? We are talking part of the civilised world here, remember? Ever think that to disregard someone's language is perhaps disregard (your perception of) their significance? But then again, I wouldn't be surprised if the people making this decision never ventured over own borders and are still surprised by the fact that everybody is going on about that the Eiffel Tower is in Paris (Texas) although they're positive they have seen it in Vegas.

        So, to irk people even further, and hopefully generate some contemplation: so tell me, why FFS is en_US maintained? Is this peculiar way of spelling now an official registered language? And if it now by magick is, why do you think the en_US variant of Dutch, South African, which is an official language BTW, thank you very much, is on the list?

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

      If the number of red wavy underlines on everything I write, are anything to go by, British English is on a list. It doesn't seem to make a difference how many words I add to the dictionary either.

      From experience, Americans abroad are even worse than Brits for thinking that the higher the volume, when shouting English at a foreigner, the closer they are to a Babel fish.

      1. Strahd Ivarius Bronze badge
        Facepalm

        Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

        You now that Microsoft/Office 365 doesn't support any English but the colonial one, do you?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

          So Australian then?

      2. AK565

        Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

        Adding words to the dictionary changes nothing? Good, I'm not the only one with that problem then.

        Yes, American are much worse than Brits with monolingualism. More likely than not most of the people involved with writing that list had never heard of half the languages. And if the languages were actually important they would have heard of them. Yes, that's the way a distressingly large number of Americans think. Remember, we're talking about people who think the Bible was originally written in English. They also think Jesus was white and spoke English.

    3. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

      In Northern Ireland at least, more of the population speak Polish than speak Irish. Some of these niche historical legacies already in decline should just be left to die naturally.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

        Not even slightly true.

        If you only looked at who speaks Polish or Irish as a main language then you'd likely be right, as most Irish speakers, use English as their main language.

        But you stated speak, in which case even if everybody with even a slight link to Poland did speak Polish in NI (so around 35,000 or so people), that's still only about a third of those that speak Irish (at over 100,000 people). Numbers based on census data.

        The original claim for this seems to have been from Arlene Foster a few years ago (DUP leader at the time), and was debunked at the time as being false.

        1. Muscleguy Silver badge

          Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

          My eldest at least used to be able to swear fluently in Polish, a legacy of working in various Highland hotels where most of the kitchen, all the cleaning and half the waiting staff will be Polish. The locals usually disdain working in the local hotels. The eldest is Kiwi born so she fitted the demographic. More Kiwis than Aussies in the Highlands, we're more used to the climate.

        2. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

          "that's still only about a third of those that speak Irish (at over 100,000 people). Numbers based on census data."

          Well, I had a look at that census data. Around 100k people claimed to be able to speak it to some degree, not that they are Irish speakers. I can speak German to some degree, but I am far from fluent. For that matter, I can also speak French, Spanish, Italian and Russian to some degree, having been taught in all of them at various stages.

          Those for whom Irish is the main home language is around 4000, which is a much more believable number.

          From a Belfast Telegraph article on the subject:

          "Of those adults who said they understood Irish, 5% said they had a high level of comprehension of the language and could handle radio or television programmes delivered entirely in Irish.

          Some 17% could understand directions, 32% could tell the time, and 46% knew a simple phrase such as “Cead mile failte” meant a hundred thousand welcomes."

          Now, I can tell the time in half a dozen languages easily. And my question is who are the 68% of people who claimed they understood Irish but can't even tell the time in it?

          The reality is that Irish, at a level that most people would consider a fair standard, i.e., conversational Irish, is barely existant north of the border, and rare south of the border.

          I am a better Latin speaker than more than half of those claimed 100k Irish speakers. Arlene Foster is, on this particular issue anyway, right.

  2. fnusnu

    Interesting

    Latvian and Lithuanian, but not Estonian...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Interesting

      Putin isn't going to march into Estonia soon.

      1. Muscleguy Silver badge

        Re: Interesting

        Probably more because Estonia is THE digital place in Eastern Europe. They have gone for digital things in a big way. Remember the digital citizenship thing? So not a politic thing to drop Estonian.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Checked the date...

    No, well into May.

    Has Microsoft decided that post-pandemic Apple is going to write off all potential non-Anglophones in the respective countries? And how hard are they really to support?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple is going to write off all ...

      It wasn't very clear to me, but isn't the aim to no longer include bespoke 365 support for these languages, but instead rely on (or push the blame onto) iOS's support (or lack thereof) for them. Can anyone clarify?

      1. TimMaher Bronze badge

        Re: Apple is going to write off all ...

        A quick check on my iPad says that Irish (Gaelic) and Urdu are available. So this looks like an M$ thing.

      2. Jon 37

        Re: Apple is going to write off all ...

        No, it sounds like Microsoft has taken an "all or nothing" approach. In future either a language will be fully supported across all the Microsoft Office apps, or the language won't be supported anywhere. These languages were supported by Outlook but not all the rest, and Microsoft decided to drop support rather than translating Word / Excel / Powerpoint / etc into those languages.

        I expect that translating Word / Excel / Powerpoint / etc, and keeping those translations up to date, would cost a big chunk of time and money. Microsoft obviously believes that dropping these languages is better for the bottom line than doing those translations.

      3. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Apple is going to write off all ...

        It sounds like the interface will no longer be translated into those languages, but you can still type in them. Similar to how I can type any language I want even while my mail client continues to use its previous localization. While I can well sort of, no actually it doesn't make sense. I was going to give them some leeway on a few languages that aren't spoken by very many people who almost all speak another language anyway, but they've got some very large languages on that list. They were able to afford that before, they can continue to.

        1. Mage Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: I can type any language I want?

          Even, Brahmic languages, Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, Cyrillic based etc? Or just Latin-Roman? Anyone remember Wordstar, or Eudora mail or Amazon Kindles for many years?

          No excuse for Eudora, it was a solved problem. Less even for the Kindle as the underlying OS had supported all of those for years.

          The USA companies have a very US and English perspective. Many even seem to think only well off white adult males exist. Over 85% of the world's population is outside of North America. The average human has English as a second language, isn't white, has black hair, brown eyes and about 1/2 of them are women.

          -

          "but they've got some very large languages on that list. They were able to afford that before, they can continue to."

          Greed and Arrogance.

          1. AK565

            Re: I can type any language I want?

            Agreed. Here's the thing. There are actually TWO Americas. The Coasts&Great Lakes and the Interior. Most well off, white, adult males in the interior have no idea that most of the white adult males in the world are nothing like them except for skin, hair, and eye color. Nearly all are non-ethnic, monolingual English speakers who are utterly convinced they are at the center, are the norm, are what's 'right'. There's no changing them. Their response to Covid19? I rest my case.

  4. TimMaher Bronze badge
    Facepalm

    Thank dog it’s iOS

    Changing device level I18n just so that some fanbois can use an M$ maily type app may not go down too well.

    Even corporate users might not look too kindly on this.

    How many corporate users have Apple kit anyway?

    1. IGotOut Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Thank dog it’s iOS

      "How many corporate users have Apple kit anyway?"

      They make device called an "iPhone"

      I hear it's going to catch on at some point.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Thank dog it’s iOS

        I wonder what the iThingy penetration is in those areas where the affected languages are spoken? Urdu, for example, Apple have a very low penetration in India even though there is a massive number speakers. Likewise Irish Gaelic. There may well be quite a number of daily speakers as referenced above, but if MS data slurp shows that only 1000 people worldwide are running Outlook on iOS with Gaelic as the display language might just wonder why they are spending money on such a microscopic number of their total userbase.

        1. Mage Silver badge

          Re: Thank dog it’s iOS

          Urdu is more associated with Pakistan, though it's the main language in some Indian states. The 28 Indian states are very diverse. Very many languages.

          "Urdu is the 21st most spoken first language in the world, with approximately 66 million who speak it as their native language" Or the 11th most spoken language. Depends on source.

          "Gaelic as the display language"

          You mean the menu language. as long as áéíóú and ÁÉÍÓÚ work, any Latin-Roman regional setting works. Icelandic, German, Spanish and French have more characters not familiar to USA texts.

          I've known people that make notes or write in Irish, German, Polish, French and Spanish with the Menus/OS Localisation set to US or British. Comments in German in programs. The Chinese even invented a way to write Chinese in Roman-Latin characters.

          This is cent-pinching by MS.

          Bizarre fact: The Irish Health service can't store accented names, Might not be too bad for some from Scandinavia, Baltic states and mainland Europe, but people here that don't much speak Irish will laugh at someone's name without an accent (Fada). Loads of words in Irish have unrelated meanings depending on if áéíóú or aeiou.

      2. DJV Silver badge

        Re: I hear it's going to catch on at some point.

        Not a chance, that nice, quiet mannered Mr Ballmer says so.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eywi0h_Y5_U

  5. General Purpose

    Words will be said

    Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Gujarati, Urdu and Malayalam are the first languages of about 374 million people in India, about 32% of the population. Is Microsoft aligning itself with Modi's Hindutva nationalism, or happy to be seen that way?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Words will be said

      I got curious after my other post, re Urdu speakers and looked up Apples penetration into the Indian market. They claim 75% of the premium market for smart phones. They have 2% of the overall smartphone market. But as per the El Reg report 5 days ago about the COVID-19 app for feature phones, there are at least 55,000 feature phones compatible with the app. But getting back to the 2% iPhone penetration, there are likely far fewer using Outlook for iOS, so it may actually be a very small market for MS, far smaller than raw numbers of language speakers or iPhone/iPad users.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Words will be said

        "there are at least 55,000 feature phones"

        Oops, make that 55 MILLION feature phones in India, and that's just the ones they managed to make the app work on. There's probably more and maybe even a large number of dumb phones too.

      2. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Words will be said

        Well, 2% of India's massive phone market can be quite a few devices. Not quite 55 million, but still a large chunk. Several countries whose languages are supported aren't that big. I don't see Danish (population of Denmark 5.81 million), Czech (population of Czechia 10.7 million), or Greek (population of Greece plus population of Cyprus 12.04 million) being removed from the supported lists, even though by most potential arguments those make more sense. Not all of those people use Outlook on IOS either, and in all four of those countries, a large section of the population is likely to speak another language, primarily German or English, which would remain supported.

        Speakers of the removed languages may also speak English, Hindi, Spanish, or Russian but not necessarily. Certain other languages, such as Tagalog, are not associated with multilingualism with a supported language; while English and Spanish are spoken in the Philippines, the lingua franca in many areas is Tagalog, with people being bilingual in that and their native tongue.

        1. JNn

          Re: Words will be said

          Wrong, not many of the so-called "removed languages" speaking English or Islamic origin languages Hindi. This company is a racist company which is kowtowing to Islamic parties like BJP.

          In fact due to language problem, Pakistani language Hindi speaking migrants in Tamil Nadu face attacks due to the crime they cause and the failure to assimilate.

          Pakistani language Hindi is RADICALLY DIFFERENT to proper Indian languages like Tamil, Telugu.

          This company is known to fund Islamic terrorism through the Clinton Foundation so limiting to the Islamic origin language Hindi is hardly surprising.

          It serves this company right to lose market share due to competition and piracy. You just cannot get away by insulting such a huge market.

        2. JNn

          Re: Words will be said

          Speakers of Tamil HARDLY KNOW Pakistani language Hindi. Microsoft is a SHAMELESS RACIST COMPANY.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Words will be said

      Hindi is actually Islamic invaders origin language and is nothing but British invented Devanagiri disguised version of Urdu. BJP is an Islamic outfit under a Hindu guise.

      BJP which is false-fully projected by the world media as a "Hindu outfit" when in fact they makes CRORES OF MONEY through sale and export of Halal meat.

      Microsoft restricting the whole of India to the language of Islamic invaders and Mosques while removing pretty much most of India in the name of "consistency" is HARDLY SURPRISING. This is the same corporation which has been a big donor to the controversial Clinton Foundation. As per USA Times, Microsoft is said to have given between USD 1 to 5 million.

      It is not known that MIcrosoft is in their terminal decline. Removal of widely used critical languages and favouring of only Islamic origin language Hindi will be surely another reason to move away from Outlook. There is enough competition. Gmail is in fact a more popular platform for Mail. Windows 10 is another disaster.

      Shame on this company.

  6. RockBurner

    Basque.

    I can see that going down well in southern Europe.... It's not like there's a history there of feeling 'left out' and not represented or anything....

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Basque

      Almost northern Europe. The Northern regions of Spain on the Atlantic coast are not much like Mediterranean Spain, southern Italy, Greece etc.

      But yes you are right. It's a stupid decision.

  7. aks Bronze badge

    I assume that Microsoft have looked at the usage numbers for Outlook 365 in each of these languages and found that the number of users was tiny on iOS, less than the cost of translation and support.

    I also assume that they continue to support those languages for Outlook 365 on Windows.

    By comparison, many of my favourite freeware/shareware programs invite crowd-sourcers to contribute translations.

    LibreOffice have provided the tools to localise the product into unsupported language.

    https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/LibreOffice_Localization_Guide

    I wonder if the new Microsoft could move toward this model of internationalisation/localisation (i18n/l10n).

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Use it or lose it!

      Seriously though - if software is available in non-English, use it if you can. My Swiftkey keyboard on Abdroid happily does predictive text for me in Welsh, English, Irish and Scots Gaelic (I assume other languages are available).

      My Win 10 defaults to Welsh, as does my Firefox.

      1. stiine Silver badge
        Happy

        Abdroid

        From what language is that spelling?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Abdroid

          Cymraeg.

          1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

            Re: Abdroid

            I am surprised the Rejects of Redmond did not ditch Welsh or Scots Gaelic among others.

      2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        I imagine some users are forced to us English by default (Because its easier to package).

        +1 for crowd sourcing, if you are going to drop at least let your own users contribute (Like Facebook does for UK English).

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      I doubt that. If they did the translations for Windows usage, they would have all the data needed to keep up translations for IOS too. It doesn't take much effort. If they're dropping it here, they're likely dropping it everywhere where Outlook is run. Even if they split up the decision, I can't see them leaving IOS untranslated but all other platforms functional.

  8. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Consistency

    They should be adding missing languages in the other iOS applications.

  9. Primus Secundus Tertius

    Widely understood

    "... anyone can speak English if one shouts it loudly and clearly enough..."

    In my experience that includes cats and dogs.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Widely understood

      My farming neighbour thinks it also applies to sheep.

    2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Widely understood

      In my experience that includes cats and dogs.

      In my experience, dogs respond better to German. And I know there are American dog trainers who prefer to train the dogs in German (with sometimes interesting results as their pronunciation -and other command of German- is quite often not quite up to standard).

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: In my experience, dogs respond better to German

        This is because Johann Sebastian Bach and family were German.

  10. Rich 2 Silver badge

    Got to love ‘em

    “....have until the end of June to switch to a supported language”

    That’s ok then. I mean, who can’t fluently learn a new language in a month? Duh!!

    Oh, and of course you need to tell everyone you might be writing to to do the same. Otherwise they won’t be able to read your letters.

    It’s bad enough when “English” is taken to mean the Americanised mangled version, with no option to change it to real English.

    Fuckwits!!

    And in true MS style, “consistency” is taken to mean “lowest common denominator” (because we can’t be arsed to do a decent job of it)

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Got to love ‘em

      The Rejects of Redmond butcher American English for good measure. It is unclear exactly what language they actually do speak.

  11. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Change at the device level ?

    Really, Borkzilla ? You think you can just go and make people change the entire way they use their phone just to please yourself ?

    That is a level of hubris that only you can imagine.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Change at the device level ?

      Borkzilla? Not Borgzilla? Seems like resistance is futile.

  12. RichieSM
    WTF?

    Bizzare decision

    Some of these I just don't understand. Urdu has been mentioned, but the Philippines is more than 100 million people too. Granted some of those will be Cebuano, but Tagalog (Filipino) is the official language.

    Why not just expand all of Microsoft 365 to support those rather than regressively remove them from iOS Outlook? It's not like there's a shortage of available people in different countries willing to do translation work.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why bother with Outlook, anyway?

    When I switched to an Apple environment (Mac) around 8 years ago (as a long-time Windows user) I continued using the Office apps (ironically, I found the Mac versions better than the ones for Windows) but dropped using Outlook. I still have it on my Macs (to allow access to mail archives (going back to 1996) but switched mail and calendar to the native Mac and iOS versions. I didn't take to Apples Reminders own app but didn't miss the integration I'd used within Outlook - keeping mail, diary and todo separate was actually easier. It helped, of course, that everything ran much quicker on Apple kit, so switching apps was no more hassle than switching tabs or windows. (And Windows 10 running in a Parallels VM on my 6 year old MacBookPro still feels as slick as on some new Lenovo laptops I've set up for a local charity).

    If MS is dropping iOS Outlook support for your language - switch to the native apps. They may not have as many bells and whistles - but that's because they're designed to do their core task and not all the extra fluff that folk seem obliged to use. It's quite refreshing, when receiving a meeting invitation from an Outlook user, to ignore the accept/reject/maybe buttons!

    1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: Why bother with Outlook, anyway?

      Agree. I use the native iOS apps for my work and personal email & calendar. They're fine. Mail comes in, I read it; reminders work as expected. An added bonus is seeing my personal and work calendars on the same display.

      I know there are better calendar solutions, but they involve spending money, having my private info data-mined, or (increasingly) both.

  14. jasper pepper

    Re: [we] "have taken a lot of time to do things right"

    What do you mean by 'shouting' to make oneself understood? Isn't that the standard method for language teaching in UK schools? From what I remember I spent most of my time in language classes being shouted at, we all did.

  15. MacroRodent Silver badge

    Speed learning

    > Affected users have been given until the end of June to switch to a supported language in order to continue using the Outlook for iOS app.

    So about one and half months to learn a new language... and in some cases a new script as well. Maybe there is an app for that.

  16. T. F. M. Reader

    Quite possibly ...

    ... it is not about neglecting the number of people using Urdu or other languages with a large user base. Maybe MSFT made an assessment of how widely used iPhones (and Outlook on iPhones) are in the lands where those languages are spoken and weighed the potential losses stemming from pissing off some section of the market against savings on Product[*]/Development/QA work.

    It would be interesting to know the corresponding statistics if anyone can dig them up, and also whether the same languages remain available for Outlook on Android.

    [*] I suspect the Development and QA parts are intuitively clear to the commentariat, but in my experience people don't tend to give much thought to, say, the real estate on menus/labels/tooltips/etc. and what exactly will be usable/intuitive in every supported language until one actually encounters the problem in a multilingual setting. "Why is this input field so far right?" - "Because the French/Russian/Welsh/whatever label next to it is longer than the English one that you see right now" kind of thing.

  17. Mage Silver badge
    Flame

    in order to maintain consistency

    The mantra for wrecking since Windows 8.

    Amazon has made their eink Kindle poorer to have GUI consistency with their iOS and Android app, and their Fire (really an Android tablet).

    It's the stupidest reason ever.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: in order to maintain consistency

      Maintain consistency = Lowest Common Denominator.

  18. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Outlook for iOS will default to English

    English?

    They do realise how ambiguous that choice is.

  19. JNn

    Shameless Racist Company Microsoft

    Shame on this company to remove MAJORITY OF INDIA to favour only Pakistani language speaking people. This is an ultimate insult to one of the biggest markets in the world. In fact, the language which this racist company retained, which is Islamic origin language Hindi contributes LESS MARKET SHARE to the Indian languages it removed.

    It now boils down to the question, is Microsoft really an a company for profit or market driven, or iit appears that Microsoft is working as an undercover organization to support Hindi hegemony and Islamification, given that Hindi language is language of association with Mosques, Islamic terrorism. Surely the language of "infidels" dont matter to this Sharia compliant company. Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and other major Indian languages removed combined represent bigger market share than the Pakistani language Hindi speaking "market".

    Time for this company to LOSE MARKET SHARE further. Shame on Microsoft!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On an unrelated note, I would like to point out (as a native Afrikaans speaker) that the subheading makes just enough sense to be absurd.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh, I finally figured out which idiom they were trying to use. Pro tip: removing the crass bits tends to mess up the meaning

  21. razorfishsl Silver badge

    So No black languages then.....

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