The European Commission has highlighted the need to develop language technologies for all European languages to provide the people of the EU countries an equal opportunity to access information and use the latest IT technologies in their native languages. This week, Tilde welcomes leading researchers from the Nordic and Baltic countries to agree on what needs to be done to ensure that the languages of these countries have access to modern language technology tools for translation, search, speech processing.The European Commission has signed an agreement with Tilde for the coordination of the Nordic and Baltic effort in the European Union META-NORD Project for the development of language technologies. In this project, each country is represented by its leading research center: the University of Copenhagen, the University of Helsinki, the University of Gothenburg, the University of Bergen, the University of Iceland, Tartu University, and the Institute of the Lithuanian Language.
The META-NORD together with analogous Southern European, East European, and West European projects form the META-NET — a European wide cooperative network. The goal of the project is to create a technological infrastructure for ensuring multi-lingualism in Europe. Tilde shall coordinate the cooperation between the Nordic and Baltic countries and together with the Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science of the University of Latvia shall represent Latvia in the European network. Within the META-NORD, various language resources and tools shall be gathered, improved and made widely available. They will enable more effective development of language technologies thus removing inter language barriers. The European Commission Eurobarometer survey, published yesterday, shows that 90% of Internet users prefer sites in their native language and 55% online at least sometimes use a foreign language. 44% of the respondents mention that they cannot find all the information they need on the Web because it is in a language they do not understand. Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission who is responsible for the digital program of the EU, said: "If we truly want to include every European in the digital environment, we have to see to it that he/she can understand the Web content he/she needs.”
„The great responsibility entrusted to Tilde by the European Commission is a high assessment to our previous work. The new project will support the further development of the Language Shore initiative involving cooperation of researchers and companies to create innovations on a global scale,” Andrejs Vasiļjevs, the Chairman of the Board of Tilde.
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