The Honolulu Advertiser
reports that among its many improvements, Mac OS X 10.2 now supports the Hawaiian language. Advocates see Apple’s support as an important step towards preserving the Hawaiian people’s native culture.
10.2 adds keyboard support for two important characters unique to the Hawaiian written language — the kahako and the ‘okina. The kahako is a diacritical mark that signifies a stressed vowel sound, while the ‘okina is a glottal stop. Programs designed for Mac OS X will also purportedly alphabetize words containing the characters.
Writer Vicky Viotti said that Mac OS support for the Hawaiian language has been advocated by the University of Hawaii’s Hale Kuamo’o Hawaiian Language Center since the mid-90s. Hawaiian language immersion programs in the state use Macs almost exclusively, apparently.