Inuktitut added to language translator software

·1 min read

An old language is hitting a new platform.

Microsoft announced it will be adding Inuktitut text translation to its translator software.

Users will be able to translate any of the more than 70 languages already in the program to or from Inuktitut, the primary dialect of the Inuktut language, which also includes Inuinnaqtun, according to a news release issued Wednesday.

Inuktitut is spoken by about 40,000 Inuit across Inuit Nunangat, the Inuit homeland in Canada which covers Nunavut, Nunavik (Northern Quebec), Nunatsiavut (Northern Labrador) and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories. The language is also spoken by about 70 per cent of the residents of Nunavut, the release says. Government news releases and other official documents are already presented in the language.

The company says adding the language to its software will provide one more way to make Inuktitut more accessible in everyday life.

"It is an honour and a privilege to work with the Government of Nunavut on such an important project," said Kevin Peesker, president of Microsoft Canada in a statement.

"Language is deeply connected to culture and identity. We believe technology can help protect our heritage and preserve language."

Dean Wells, corporate chief information officer for the government of Nunavut, said in the release that the collaboration with Microsoft helped the government advance its information technology infrastructure "by leaps and bounds."