TechCrunch: Microsoft adds Māori to translator as New Zealand pushes to revitalize the language

TechCrunch: Microsoft adds Māori to translator as New Zealand pushes to revitalize the language. “The benefits of machine translation are easy to see and experience for ourselves, but those practical applications are only one part of what makes the technology valuable. Microsoft and the government of New Zealand are demonstrating the potential of translation tech to help preserve and hopefully breathe new life into the Māori language.”

Creative Commons: Indian State of Odisha Releases 21 Dictionaries Under CC BY

Creative Commons: Indian State of Odisha Releases 21 Dictionaries Under CC BY. “Recently, CC India’s Global Network Representative (GNC) Subhashish Panigrahi brought to our attention that the Indian state of Odisha licensed 21 dictionaries—in all 21 Indigenous languages that are spoken in the province—under CC BY 4.0. This opens them up for adaptation, distribution, and remixing by anyone.”

RNZ: Digital platform to ease access of te reo Māori for 21st century conversations

RNZ: Digital platform to ease access of te reo Māori for 21st century conversations. “Northland based Te Hiku Media and Dragonfly Data Science have been awarded $13 million over seven years by the government to create a platform, Papa Reo, which will digitise 25 years worth of te reo Māori archives…. The world-irst project will create a te reo digital dataset large enough to be used for machine learning to create chat bots, online education, games, transcription of archival material, and real-time captioning in te reo Māori.”

Phys .org: Research team developing Indigenous languages app

Phys .org: Research team developing Indigenous languages app . “… [Dr. Marguerite] Koole, an assistant professor of curriculum studies in the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan (USask), is working with a team of teachers, researchers and programmers from across campus in order to launch a web-based database to help educators revive Indigenous languages. The database, named wîcêhtowin, contains information and links to websites, video/audio repositories, and apps designed to improve language knowledge.”

Slate: The Complicated Decisions That Come With Digitizing Indigenous Languages

Slate: The Complicated Decisions That Come With Digitizing Indigenous Languages. “When Europeans first made contact with tribes across the continent, more than 2,000 languages were being spoken. Today, after centuries of forced relocations, broken treaties, abusive residential schools, and other discriminatory practices, only 256 languages are spoken. A full 199 are endangered, according to the Catalogue of Endangered Languages. Yet even after everything those communities endured, they’re fighting for their words—and the ability to protect them. New technology like smartphone keyboards, language-learning apps, and digital databases makes revitalization work easier than ever, but it also requires hard conversations about which parts of a language must be kept offline.”

Alaska Native News: National Science Foundation Supports Additional Alutiiq Language Research

Alaska Native News: National Science Foundation Supports Additional Alutiiq Language Research. “With a $56,462 grant from the National Science Foundation (award #1360839), the Alutiiq Museum will extend its Naken–Natmen (Where From–Where To) language project for an additional year. First funded in 2014, the multi-year project improved access to Alutiiq language resources by developing an online archive of Alutiiq recordings, creating an Alutiiq speaker registry, and planning future language documentation projects. Now, a supplemental grant will allow the museum to study rare examples of written Alutiiq preserved in historic texts.”

University of Calgary: Blackfoot Oral Stories Database brought to life by ii’ taa’poh’to’p grant

New-to-me, from the University of Calgary: Blackfoot Oral Stories Database brought to life by ii’ taa’poh’to’p grant. “These stories have helped us to understand the underlying structure of the language and the ways in which it is similar to and different from other languages. But, as we did this work, it became increasingly clear to us that we can and must use our linguistic training to share the stories as they were intended — with members of the community. With this understanding, in 2016, Dr. Heather Bliss, PhD, adjunct assistant professor in the School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures created the Blackfoot Oral Stories Database, an online repository of oral stories. Since that time, the database has grown to include over 100 stories told by more than 20 storytellers.”