14 February 2007
Recent experiences on measuring languages in Cyberspace will be discussed at a Workshop at UNESCO’s Paris Headquarters on 22 February 2007 as part of the celebrations of International Mother Language Day (21 February).Organized by the Language Observatory Project (LOP), the World Network for Linguistic Diversity (WDLD) and UNESCO, under the sponsorship of the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), the workshop will offer opportunities to discuss various methodologies for measuring the presence or absence of languages in the digital world, share the findings of web language surveys on Asia and Africa, and draw lessons from the above experience.
Participants will also discuss about the possibilities to establish a roadmap to promote multilingualism and equal access to cyberspace, and to establish a related multi-stakeholder network.
The results of this workshop will be largely disseminated, through the membership of World Language Diversity Network, UNESCO, LOP member universities, World Summit on the Information Society stakeholders and other partners. The participation (free of charge) is open to experts and policy makers interested in the topic, which is particularly related to the Plan of Action of the World Summit on the Information Society (Action Line C8 – Cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content).
LOP, WDL and UNESCO have been working since 2002 to develop scientific methodologies to measure the presence of languages in the cyberspace and raise awareness on this very relevant component of cultural and linguistic diversity.
Among its major activities LOP has developed the CyberCensus Survey. Both LOP and the Census are implemented in partnership with several institutions in different countries and regions, namely:
• Nagaoka University of Technology (NUT)
• Keio University, Japan
• Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS), Japan
• Faculti Sains Komputer & Sistem Maklumat (FSKSM), University Teknology Malaysia (UTM)
• Thai Computational Linguistic Laboratory (TCL), Thailand
• Miskolc University, Hungary
• Technology Development of Indian Languages (TDIL), Ministry of IT, India
• The Laboratory for Web Algorithmics (LAW), Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Informazione, Universitŕ degli Studi di Milano (USM), Milano, Italy.