November 23, 2015

In an opinion piece published in the EU news portal EurActiv, "The European Language Cloud, or how to enable multilingual Europe," Tilde CEO Andrejs Vasiļjevs stresses that a modern language infrastructure is needed to truly unite Europe in its diversity.

"Though Europe’s multilingualism is a fundamental cultural and social value, its treasured linguistic diversity can also lead to significant communication barriers between people," Vasiļjevs writes. "The upholding of 'unity in diversity' remains a difficult challenge." 

Vasiļjevs argues that language technologies can play a crucial role in overcoming these barriers.

"Recent developments in language technologies, such as state-of-the-art machine translation and automated speech recognition, now enable us to overcome language barriers between people, simultaneously allowing multilingualism to thrive in the digital world. ... The heightened application of these language technologies to the online market will not only foster communication between nations. It will also help boost the European economy by enabling more cross-border trade."

The opinion piece urges European policymakers to set up a public language techology infrastructure -- a European Language Cloud -- tp ensure easy access to key enabling language technologies for all EU languages.

"Once a solid European Language Cloud infrastructure is in place, commercial players and public sector organisations could then use the available language technology services as buildings blocks, or core components, to create innovative multilingual solutions for their high-demand applications."

EurActiv is an independent pan-European media network specialised in EU policies. The EurActiv Network of both independent and integrated offices provides free localised EU policy news in 12 languages, reaching more than 660,000 readers across Europe and beyond, every month. With 2.8+ million page views and 660,524 ‘unique visitors’ per month, EurActiv is the leading online media on EU affairs.