SUCRE, Bolivia – Just click "Qallariy" to begin.
The word — pronounced "KAH-lyah-ree" — replaces "Start" on Microsoft Windows' familiar taskbar in a new Quechua translation of the program, which got its Bolivian debut Friday.
Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) chief of Bolivia operations, Nelson Cuentas, tried out a little of his own Quechua at the launch event, where translations of both Windows and Office were demonstrated on a large screen before a gathering of Quechua Indians in striped red and black ponchos and colorful hats.
"Anchay agradeseiki ('Thank you' in Quechua) for trusting us," Cuentas said. "Microsoft Bolivia wants indigenous culture to form a part of the information age."
Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca, himself an Aymara Indian, said the translated software marked a new era of inclusion after centuries of prejudice faced by speakers of indigenous languages.
"It was not so many years ago that speaking Quechua was considered backward," he said, "but in these last few years our people are in a full process of emergence, and the world knows we are individuals."
First launched in Peru in June and now freely available for download online, the software is a simple patch that translates the familiar Microsoft menus and commands.
Microsoft teamed up with several universities in Peru's Quechua-speaking south to create the translation program, joining 47 other versions of Windows in such languages as Kazakh, Maori and Zulu.
And while relatively few of South America's estimated 10 to 13 million Quechua speakers have regular access to a computer, the project is already paying dividends for Microsoft: The company recently won a contract from the Peruvian government for 5,000 Quechua-equipped computers.
The Quechua translation balances traditional words with some newly minted terms.
For "file," they chose "kipu" (KEE-poo), borrowing the name of an ancient Inca practice of recording information in an intricate system of knotted strings. "Internet" became "Llika" (LEE-ka), the Quechua word for spider web.
Meanwhile, "My documents" becomes "Documentoykuna."
Such borrowed words "are one way that a language evolves," said Serafin Coronel-Molina, a linguist at Princeton University and native Quechua speaker. "But you can't just fill up a language with borrowed words, because then what have you got?"
While Microsoft's new translation will make its essential computer programs more user-friendly for Quechua speakers, it will only reach those few who have regular access to computers.
Student Wilver Vedia, 16, dressed in a round black felt hat hung with pink and yellow tassels, was part of a delegation of students from the small village of Tarabuco who turned out for Friday's event to deliver a letter asking Bolivian President Evo Morales to provide more computers for their school. But Morales canceled his appearance at the last minute.
Vedia pointed out that the translation program would be of only limited value in Tarabuco, where 240 students share eight computers, and the nearest Internet connection is an hour away.
"It would be a great help if they gave us Internet access. And computers," he shrugged. "Because with just eight of them, what are we going to do?