Global Language Digitization Initiative
Are all languages equal?
Our language environment is teeming with life. An ecology of language involves devoted care and attention to conserve, guarantee sustainability, assure health and well-being with inarguable equality. Development of our digital domain has been unequal, endangering under-resourced languages. Strenuous effort is needed to future-proofing against exclusion and even extinction.
There are over 4,000 written languages (many more oral languages) in the world today and only 1,000 of them are supported online. This is because most of these languages are not yet digitized.
What would the world be like if we were all online? With so many international agencies and companies working towards 100% connectivity, we ask: In what language will the next 7 billion people use the internet? This is an answer only we can give as language professionals, the communities themselves, the academic world and most importantly our language technologists.
Bringing connectivity to emerging countries will solve many problems and create great opportunities. BUT connectivity alone will not allow people to be online unless their language is digitally supported. To fully partake in the benefits of online connectivity, people will need to be able to type, speak and read the online material in their own language.
What if we could bring together everything we all learned and work at a global scale?
The Global Language Digitization Initiative provides a reliable method of digitally rendering a language. It seeks to solve the problem that unrepresented languages have participating in a global communications network. We present a methodology that can easily be utilized by non-technical users to meet the particular needs of their language. Evidence of the success of this approach is cited with examples. The importance of this initiative is illustrated by recommendations for on-going and new projects.
Setting out a plan to accomplish a shared vision to help everyone get online in their own language!
The Zero to Digital document presents the global language community with a broad vision to bring together many diverse organizations, communities and institutions. Progress can only be achieved when all of the aforementioned are bridged by a coordinating body. Translation Commons is pledged to build and maintain this bridge, providing the means for all language users to share equally in the opportunities offered by digital life.