International Mother Language Day: spotlight on language efforts at Microsoft
February 21 is UNESCO’s International Mother Language Day, which promotes linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The theme of International Mother Language Day this year is “Local languages for global citizenship: spotlight on science.” Microsoft salutes this day and acknowledges the important role we play in bridging the gap between language and technology.
Microsoft offers many resources to help bring localized software, devices and services to people in their native languages. To provide easier access to this information, the Microsoft Language Portal now includes the Language Toolbox, which provides links to a wide range of language resources and tools provided by Microsoft. We’ll expand this list as new offerings become available. All of these features are free, either as direct web services or as downloads. The following is a summary list of the language offerings:
Get Microsoft apps and content in your language
- Microsoft Translator – Get a translation quickly. It’s an auto-detect method of machine translation on-the-fly! Also, see the Microsoft Translator portal page
- Microsoft Local Language Program – Learn how Microsoft bridges the gap between technology and language by providing our technology in a language that is familiar to you and that honors your linguistic and cultural distinctions.
- Local Language Offerings by Microsoft – See what localized versions of Microsoft software are available in your language.
- Windows Keyboard Layout Creator – Create your own custom Windows keyboard.
- Windows Locale Builder tool – Create custom formats for Windows language and region data.
- Translator Widget – Bring real-time, in-place translation to your website.
- Localized Error Message Lookup tool – Enter a localized error message and look up the original English translation.
Create apps and content in your language
- Microsoft Language Portal – Download style guides, term lists, UI translations, and more
- Microsoft Terminology Glossary – Download an offline terminology database that includes key Microsoft terms in over 100 languages.
- Microsoft Localization Style Guides – Get localization reference in your language by using our Style Guide downloads.
- Multilingual App Toolkit – Use this free Visual Studio 2013 add-in to create Windows Store and Windows Phone apps with free Machine Translation from Microsoft Translator (this add-in also runs on Visual Studio 2012 and includes the terminology API.)
- Microsoft Terminology API – Integrate Microsoft Terminology and UI strings directly into your web portals or localization tools or apps, and get dictionary-style terminology, definition, and translation lookups.
- Microsoft Translator Hub – Create your own Machine Translation model for any language.
- Create books using Microsoft Word – Use Office templates to create books or pamphlets in your own language. A great exercise for teachers with students in classrooms!
- Go Global Developer Center – Discover our in-depth developer reference library for building world-ready apps
- Translate TechNet articles into your language with the TechNet Translation Wiki
- Developers and IT Pros: Translate developer content into 13 languages with MSDN Community Translation
Stay informed about language efforts at Microsoft
- Bing Translator Team Blog – News about Microsoft’s Machine Translation engine
- Microsoft Language Portal Blog – Read the latest localization news, and learn about translation updates and apps.
- Microsoft Citizenship Blog – News about youth, education, and non-profit initiatives around the world.
- Natural Language Processing – Microsoft Research’s NLP team develops algorithms to process texts and make data accessible to computer applications.