How technology can help local languages

How technology can help local languages

  • Comments 2
  • Likes

Today there are nearly 7,000 languages spoken around the world and scientists estimate that three languages become extinct every month and over half of all languages are in danger of becoming extinct before the end of this century.  Just think of the knowledge and history that’s lost when a language dies. Today is UNESCO's International Mother Language Day and a great time to celebrate the importance of language to everyone around the world.

There are many economic and cultural reasons why so many languages are at risk of extinction.  However, with the ubiquity of computers in our lives, one element that can help preserve language is technology.  At Microsoft we’ve committed to enable as many people as possible to work, communicate and collaborate using their native language through our Local Language Program.

While software is localized for the major world languages if you live in a smaller community you are often forced to use technology in a foreign language, adding yet another hurdle to protecting and developing your native tongue. Take Spain as an example. More than 74 percent of the country’s 47 million citizens speak Castilian Spanish, but 26 percent speak Valencian, Basque, Catalan or Galician. Through the technology of Local Interface Packs (LIPS) and Caption Language Interface Packs (CLIPS), which are part of the Microsoft Local Language Program, native speakers of Valencian, Basque, Catalan and Galician can now use technology such as Windows and Office on their own terms.

Today Microsoft offers Windows and Office in nearly 100 languages, reaching more than 90 percent of the global population.

In addition to providing these Local Language Packs, we also provide online dictionaries, translation tools and localized versions of our developer tools.

Ultimately these tools and resources help support language preservation and translation, which can lead to better economic opportunities through giving more people access to technology in their own language.

On International Mother Language Day it’s a good time to celebrate the wonderful diversity around our planet and recognize the importance those languages play in our culture and diversity. You can find a whole set of resources and download instructions for Local Language Packs at the Local Language Program website.

Some of the languages supported today by the Local Language Program.

Language

Primary Location

Afrikaans

South Africa

Albanian <Shqipe>

Albania

Alsace

France

Amharic <አማርኛ>

Ethiopia

Arabic <العربية>

multiple locations

Armenian <Հայերեն>

Armenia

Assamese <অসমীয়া>

India

Azerbaijani (Latin) <Azərbaycan>

Azerbaijan

Bangla (Bangladesh) <বাংলা (বাংলাদেশ)>

Bangladesh

Basque <Euskara>

Spain

Bengali (India) <বাংলা (ভারত)>

India

Bosnian (Cyrillic) <босански>

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnian (Latin) <Bosanski>

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Breton

France

Bulgarian <български>

Bulgaria

Catalan <Català>

Spain

Chinese Simplified <简体中文>

China

Chinese Traditional <繁體中文>

China

Croatian <Hrvatski>

Croatia

Czech <Čeština>

Czech Republic

Dari <درى>

Afghanistan

Danish <dansk>

Denmark

Dutch <Nederlands>

Netherlands

Estonian <Eesti>

Estonia

Filipino

Philippines

Finnish <suomi>

Finland

French <français>

France

Galician <Galego>

Spain

Georgian <ქართული>

Georgia

German <Deutsch>

Germany

Greek <Ελληνικά>

Greece

Gujarati <ગુજરાતી>

India

Haitian Creole

Haiti

Hausa

Nigeria

Hebrew <עברית>

Israel

Hindi <हिंदी>

India

Hindi <हिंदी>

India

Hungarian <Magyar>

Hungary

Icelandic <Íslenska>

Iceland

Igbo

Nigeria

Indonesian <Bahasa Indonesia>

Indonesia

Inuktitut

Canada

Irish <Gaeilge>

Ireland

isiXhosa

South Africa

IsiZulu

South Africa

Italian <italiano>

Italy

Japanese <日本語>

Japan

Kannada <ಕನ್ನಡ>

India

Kazakh <Қазащb>

Kazakhstan

Khmer <ខ្មែរ>

Cambodia

Kiswahili

multiple locations

Konkani <कोंकणी>

India

Korean <한국어>

Korea

Kyrgyz <Кыргыз>

Kyrgyzstan

Lao <ລາວ>

Laos

Latvian <Latviešu>

Latvia

Lithuanian <Lietuvių>

Lithuania

Luxembourgish <Lëtzebuergesch>

Luxembourg

Macedonian <македонски>

Macedonia, Fmr Yugoslav Republic of

Malay (Brunei Darussalam) <Bahasa Melayu (Brunei Darussalam)>

Brunei

Malay (Malaysia) <Bahasa Melayu (Malaysia)>

Malaysia

Malayalam <മലയാളം>

India

Maltese <Malti>

Malta

Maori <Reo Māori>

New Zealand

Marathi <मराठी>

India

Marathi <मराठी>

India

Mongolian (Cyrillic) <Монгол хэл>

Mongolia

Nepali <नेपाली>

Nepal

Norwegian (Nynorsk) <Norsk (Nynorsk)>

Norway

Odia <ଓଡ଼ିଆ>

India

Pashto <پښتو>

Afghanistan

Persian <فارسى>

multiple locations

Polish <Polski>

Poland

Portuguese Brazil <Português (Brasil)>

Brazil

Punjabi (Gurmukhi, India) <ਪੰਜਾਬੀ>

India

Quechua <Runasimi>

Peru

Romanian <Română>

Romania

Romansh <Rumantsch>

Switzerland

Russian <Русский>

Russia

Scottish Gaelic <Gàidhlig>

United Kingdom

Serbian (Cyrillic) <Српски>

Serbia

Serbian (Latin) <Srpski>

Serbia

Sesotho sa Leboa

South Africa

Setswana

South Africa

Sinhala <සිංහල>

Sri Lanka

Slovak <Slovenčina>

Slovakia

Slovenian <slovenščina>

Slovenia

Spanish <Español>

Spain

Swedish <svenska>

Sweden

Tamil <தமிழ்>

India

Tatar <Татар>

Russia

Telugu <తెలుగు>

India

Thai <ไทย>

Thailand

Turkish <Türkçe>

Turkey

Turkmen <Türkmen>

Turkmenistan

Ukrainian <Україньска>

Ukraine

Urdu <اُردو>

Pakistan

Uzbek (Latin) <O’zbekcha>

Uzbekistan

Valencian <Valencià>

Spain

Vietnamese <Tiếng Việt>

Vietnam

Welsh <Cymraeg>

United Kingdom

Yoruba

Nigeria

Social Media Sharing
Your thoughts on this post?
Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment
Blog - Comment List