The United Nations declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL) in order to raise awareness of the consequences of the endangerment of indigenous languages around the world. This not only benefits the people who speak these languages, but all of us because of the important contribution these languages make to our world’s rich cultural diversity. Translation Commons became a social-civil partner to this UNESCO initiative and agreed to work on two important projects. The response from language professionals around the world was exceptional. The promise of digitizing so many more languages mobilized linguists, academics and companies alike, igniting a new spark to a worthwhile cause. The value of adding so many more languages to the digital environment is priceless to the language industry.
Takeaways: Attendees will learn about the two Translation Commons projects for IYIL 2019 and beyond:
- A technical document “Indigenous Languages: from zero to digital” serving as a step-by-step guideline to help communities digitize. This will continue with specific support to communities to help them digitize.
- A global university campaign to create as many classroom sessions and events as possible, dedicated to raising awareness of indigenous languages. UNESCO is inviting all Translation Commons participating universities to collaborate in creating an academic network for research, intensifying our commitment to raise the quality of training through knowledge sharing.