February 21 is UNESCO’s International Mother Language Day 2013, which aims to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. This is also an occasion for us to highlight the contributions of the Microsoft Local Language Program (LLP), which provides people access to technology in their native language. 

The Microsoft LLP includes a number of special features, all for free. Microsoft Translator for example provides real time translation for 40 languages, including community driven languages such as Hmong, one with a small but very passionate community interested in preserving their language.

Today, the Microsoft Translator team is also announcing the launch of two new officially supported languages: Malay and Urdu.

This is part of an ongoing expansion of the number of translated languages available in our products. With Windows 8 and Office 2013, the number of available languages has increased by 13 to 108 languages in total.

Promoting access to mother languages is crucial to ensuring the survival of people’s common, living heritage. It is linguistic and cultural ties that strengthen communities and promote cohesion.

The Local Language Program offers a range of free technologies and language data collections to help people in over 108 languages work with IT in their local language. Here are some of the top resources to start using Microsoft products or create new products in your mother language: