Welsh National Language Technologies Portal

Announcing the ‘Through Technology Means’ Conference,
Bangor University 06/03/15

A conference to launch the Welsh National Language Technology Portal will be held at Bangor University, Friday the 6th of March 2015. The Portal was developed by the Language Technologies Unit, Canolfan Bedwyr, with a grant from the Welsh Government’s fund for the Welsh Language and Technology. The conference will be opened by Professor John Hughes, Vice-Chancellor of Bangor University.

The Portal will contain a number of useful resources developed by the LTU for Welsh language software and websites. Other software developers, coding clubs and researchers will be able to use them free of charge and integrate them into their products and environments. These resources will be showcased during the conference, alongside case studies of how they have been used to date. The conference programme may be viewed here

The conference title in Welsh, “Trwy Ddulliau Technoleg” (Through technological means) plays on the famous quote from Saunders Lewis’ key radio lecture where he said that “only through revolutionary means” would the Welsh language be saved. We don’t claim that only technological means will save the language today, but we do believe that in this technological age it is one of the key elements in ensuring a future for the language and the economic and social welfare of its speakers.

The Welsh language is far from being alone in this. Most of the world’s languages are excluded from the electronic communications revolution, and suffer therefore from deprivation. Language technology resources are important not only for Welsh but for other less-resourced languages such as the other Celtic languages, Basque, and the native languages of South Africa. Therefore, for our mutual benefit and encouragement, we welcome those who work with Language Technologies in other less resourced languages to attend the conference. Amongst the guest speakers will be Professor Laurette Pretorius from the University of South Africa, Pretoria; Dr Kepa Sarasola from the University of the Basque Country, San Sebastián; John Judge from Dublin City University, Ireland, and Jeff Beatty, coordinator for the localization of Mozilla to the Celtic languages, from Utah in the USA.

The conference’s main language will be Welsh, with simultaneous interpretation into English. Presentations by guest speakers from other countries will be made in English.