20 September 2012

White paper: Europe must take action to prepare its languages for the digital age

Most European languages are unlikely to survive in the digital age, a new study by Europe’s leading Language Technology experts warns. Assessing the level of support through language technology for 30 of the approximately 80 European languages, the experts conclude that digital support for 21 of the 30 languages investigated is “non-existent” or “weak” at best. The study “Europe’s Languages in the Digital Age” was carried out by META-NET, a European network of excellence that consists of 60 research centres in 34 countries, working on the technological foundations of multilingual Europe.

Europe must take action to prepare its languages for the digital age. They are a precious component of our cultural heritage and, as such, they deserve future-proofing. The European Day of Languages on September 26 recognises the importance of fostering and developing the rich linguistic and cultural heritage of our continent. The META-NET study shows that, in the digital age, multilingual Europe and its linguistic heritage are facing challenges but also many possibilities and opportunities.

The study, prepared by more than 200 experts, is documented in 30 volumes of the META-NET White Paper Series

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