This weekend we attended the Home School Geography Club, which was about Viet Nam, and enjoyed it immensely. Our friends the Hamiltons hosted it and, among many other fascinating things, taught us as few words in Vietnamese, and fed us Phô .
However when writing out the Vietnamese sheets, Bich was adding the accents by hand on the printout. It turns out that the Vietnamese keyboard inclued with OS X is far too hidden for anyone but experts to find(System Preferences, International, Input Menu Tab, and check the ones you want in a scrolling list).
This reminded me of an idea I had for an Apple ad campaign to highlight OS X's language support.
What I suggest is a poster campaign, showing a localised Mac screen running Mail with large type saying
Macintosh speaks your languagesExcept that you do it as a teaser.
Start with the least common (in the US) languages Apple localises to, eg Korean, and work your way up the demographic to English, changing posters once a week or more often
매킨토시는 너의 언어를 말한다
Macintosh говорит ваши языки
Macintosh fala suas línguas
Macintosh spricht Ihre Sprachen
Macintosh parle vos langages
Macintosh habla sus lenguajes
Macintosh speaks your languages
Each time you change a poster and add a language, you switch the outer UI (menus etc) to that language. You deliberately place the posters in non-ethnic areas, so they are cryptic to most.
(Obviously, you get native speakers to translate the slogan instead of using Sherlock like I did).
47 million Americans speak a non-English language, according to the 2000 Census. 26 million also speak English well, 21 million are less proficient. Millions more learn a foreign language in school.
Imagine the media buzz these cryptic posters would generate, and the feeling of pride the bilingual people would have when they see an ad in their language, out in public.
In other countries, you do the same thing with a different language order.