In July 2022. Facebook’s newly-created parent company, Meta, announced that it had reached a milestone in its language acquisition campaign, No Language Left Behind (NLLB). They unveiled NLLB-200, an artificial intelligence model that can translate in 200 different languages. This new model stands as a major step forward for translation for international development and comes just after a previous announcement about a project that aimed to develop a machine translation (MT) tool that can translate the majority of the world’s 7,000 languages.
Why Global Language Inclusion
A great deal of the world’s written content is accessible online, thanks in no small part to social media platforms like Facebook. With 2.9 billion users, Facebook is the most widely used social media website in the world, followed by YouTube and WhatsApp. However, a major language gap existed on the site for most of the site’s lifespan. Therefore, in recent years, Facebook made a goal of making content published on its platform accessible to the international audience that makes up its users. This serves as a significant boon to nonprofits and NGOs operating around the world, as social media content can now be translated through international development translation services.
Leading By Example
Facebook has invested a great deal in linguistic development for their products. The company itself states that as it forges on to build its Metaverse, an immersive virtual world accessed through VR and AR equipment, one of its priorities is to integrate real-time VR/AR text translation services in hundreds of languages.
It is extremely meaningful that one of the largest companies in the world is targeting a new standard of inclusion through their efforts to represent low-resource languages, such as the Bantu languages in Africa and Welsh in the UK, as well as high high-resource languages, like English and Spanish. It sets a major precedent and will likely inspire other companies to provide translation for NGOs as well as translation for international organizations.
Inclusion And Translation For International Development
For language service providers (LSP’s), this means a greater demand for specially-trained linguists. Facebook is not a language company and therefore does not maintain a network of localization professionals, including translators, interpreters, and captioners. As a result, Facebook and its consulting partners turn to LSP’s, who are specialists in localization services and interpreting services and also maintain major language professional databases.
Language Services Aid Translation For International Development
For international development, this means that countries associated with low-resource languages will have greater access to online platforms. Up until recently, more than half of the world’s languages had little-to-no representation on the web; in 2020, Google was only available in about 100 languages. During the COVID-19 pandemic, low resource language groups were also at risk of not receiving proper medical care as a result of language barriers. Linguistic competence is an indispensable building block to generating greater cultural inclusion and efficacy in international aid. Facebook’s new effort will help bring that understanding home to global organizations.
About Language Connections:
Language Connections is one of the top language service companies in the US. Over the last 30 years, we’ve focused on providing the best business translation services, interpreting services, as well as interpreter training and customized language training programs. In addition to top-tier corporate language training, we offer certified corporate interpreters and professional business translation services in 200+ languages. Our network includes linguists with backgrounds in all major industries. They’re ready to meet your needs, whether they’re for technical translation services, legal translation, government translation services, international development translation services, education translation services, life sciences translation, or something else. Reach out to us today for a free quote on our cost-efficient and timely translation services, interpreters, or other linguistic services.
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