Microsoft’s Local Language Program Bridges Languages, Cultures and Technology

REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 21, 2012 — In recognition of International Mother Language Day, Microsoft Corp., a strong supporter of language preservation, today highlighted the company’s Local Language Program (LLP), which enables the development of custom language translation. LLP enables 1.7 billion people worldwide to access technology in their own language, while striving to preserve those local languages and cultural identities.

In many parts of the world, technology has transformed the way people and businesses share and use information, improved the way children and adults learn, and helped governments address social and economic issues in ways never before imagined. 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, vice president of Worldwide Education at Microsoft. “Language preservation and support also help preserve cultural identities for the next generation of learners.”

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.

  • The 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.

  • The 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.

For people to experience the benefits of technology, they must have access to the technology and the skills to use it. In Spain, the Local Language Program 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. 

“We loved the fact that Microsoft offers software in Valencian because it gives our students the ability to use their native tongue in a modern context,” said Francisco Masquefa, director of the Albal Institut in Valencia, Spain. “The availability of these the programs in our native language shows that Microsoft is truly committed to helping local communities sustain cultural traditions — while supporting advancement through technology.”

About Local Language Program

Microsoft is committed to helping people worldwide benefit from technology while striving to uphold local language and cultural identity. Representing this commitment, the Local Language Program is a global initiative that provides people access to technology in a familiar language while respecting linguistic and cultural distinctions. Through this program, Microsoft bridges languages, cultures and technology to empower individuals in local communities to create economic opportunities, build technology skills, enhance education outcomes, and sustain their local language and culture for future generations. More information on LLP is available at http://www.microsoft.com/LLP.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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