Posted by Carla HurdMicrosoft Local Language Program
On Friday, Microsoft announced the expansion of Microsoft Translator with the addition of Welsh and the launch of Language Toolbox, both in celebration of UNESCO’s International Mother Language Day.
Language Toolbox is a collection of free tools and resources related to Microsoft language technologies. Also on Friday, Microsoft recognized the important role American Sign Language (ASL) plays in the lives of deaf and hard of hearing individuals.
Through Microsoft’s Local Language Program, an offering of Microsoft YouthSpark, we further embrace our commitment to bridging the gap between technology and language. We understand the increasing impact that technology plays in our lives and how critical it is to have access in your language. As Jeremy Evas, a lecturer at the School of Welsh at Cardiff University in Wales, notes “Microsoft’s investment in the Welsh language over the years has meant that thousands upon thousands of school pupils, workers and individuals at home can use technology in the language which they treasure.”
As the world mourns the recent loss of the great Nelson Mandela, we can reflect on one of his most famous quotes: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” From Welsh to Cherokee to American Sign Language (ASL) – Microsoft believes all languages are important – they are the very essence of how we communicate our thoughts, ideas and inspirations.
As we celebrate the diversity of language around the globe today, we hope you will join us in embracing and celebrating the variety of languages as well as the cultures that encircle them.