On the eve of the International Mother Language Day on February 21, Microsoft highlighted company's Local Language Program (LLP), which enables the development of custom language translation.
Microsoft's LLP enables 1.7 billion people worldwide to access technology in their own language, while striving to preserve those local languages and cultural identities.
Languages play an important role in the integration process in all aspects of life, education and the local economies. "Providing technology in a native language is critical to helping people access the tools they need to create better economic opportunities," said Anthony Salcito, vp of Worldwide Education at Microsoft. "Language preservation and support also help preserve cultural identities for the next generation of learners."
For people to experience the benefits of technology, they must have access to the technology and the skills to use it. Microsoft notes, in Spain, the LLP has developed Windows and Office in Basque, Valencian, Catalan and Galician. "Now, citizens throughout the country have access to technology in their native language and not only Spanish. This impact can provide greater economic opportunities to generations young and old," added Microsoft.
Microsoft's services and products focusing on the importance of language and culture through the LLP include the following:
- "Localized versions of Windows and Microsoft Office are available in 37 languages
- Nearly 100 languages are supported by Language Interface Packs through free downloads for Windows, Office and Visual Studio
- Microsoft Terminology Collection provides uniformity of meaning to IT terms translated to the local language
- Microsoft Translator allows users to translate text and Web pages in 37 languages
- Microsoft Tellme, a speech recognition platform, works across multiple platforms simplifying everyday tasks
- Microsoft Language Development Center works on many services, such as speech synthesis technology for under-resourced languages. In addition, through extensive research and development, it creates language opportunities for people worldwide with disabilities," Microsoft informed.