CIIL to push for machine translations


Mysuru-based Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) will soon be making its colossal data on Indian languages available in the digital format to facilitate IT companies in technology incorporation, particularly for establishing machine translation platforms.

The immense resource of languages that the CIIL had collected and researched over the years would be brought into the public domain which could be accessed by anybody after getting valid licences.

CIIL Director D.G. Rao said here on Wednesday that the institute had consulted IT companies and they were keen to get licences which would be awarded based on the norms stipulated by the Union Government. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) will soon be releasing the data into the public domain and it can be accessed by using the licence.

The pricing for accessing the data had been fixed, he said, while presiding over the 40th International Conference of Linguistic Society of India (ICOLSI-40) on the CIIL premises. Manual translation of language data was unworkable and machine translation can help in overcoming the shortcomings, he said.

Prof. Rao said the CIIL has proposed to come out with a model curriculum which can be adopted by universities for imparting language education. Institutions interested in starting language studies can also adopt the model. Under the Bharat Vani project, around 100 dictionaries in various languages had been made available on the digital platform.

The CIIL director said the institute had been working on the conservation of endangered languages and added that several resource persons in various States too had also been working on saving the languages from becoming extinct.

CIIL has initiated the process of launching two more classical language centres – one at Bhubhaneshwar on Oriya and another one in Kerala on Malayalam. Prof. Rao said the Malayalam University and the Central University in Kerala have come forward to house the centre on their campuses. Both centres were expected to see the light of the day next year, he added.

Speaking after inaugurating the conference, University of Mysore Vice-Chancellor G. Hemantha Kumar said Mysuru has been a hub for many research institutions. He later released publications brought out on the occasion. LSI President Panchanan Mohanty said many languages were on the brink of extinction and conserving them should become a top priority.

He said universities should also lay emphasis on language education since languages help in conserving cultural diversity. Linguist K.A. Jayasheelan also spoke. LSI Secretary Shailendra Mohan was present. More than 200 delegates from six countries are attending the conference.

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