Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves officially unveiled language technology developer Tilde’s machine translation system for Estonian at ICT 2013, Europe’s largest digital technology event, in Vilnius, Lithuania, on November 7.
President Ilves first tried Tilde’s system to machine-translate a phrase from Act 3, Scene 1 of Shakespeare’s Hamlet into Estonian: “Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer / The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune”.
Tilde’s machine translation technology LetsMT was created as a tool for overcoming the language barrier in the European Union, home to 24 official languages. The European Commission has set a target to eliminate language barriers for the European market by 2025.
To develop the technology, Tilde united a consortium of leading universities and research centers, which was selected for support by the European Commission in the framework of the Competiveness and Innovation Programme for ICT. The resulting technology has proven to perform better than Google Translate for small languages.
LetsMT is an example of European innovation’s success in addressing a challenge facing EU citizens in the digital era. Tilde’s LetsMT preserves the linguistic diversity at the heart of the EU while bridging the language barrier between nations, facilitating the creation of a digital single market in Europe.
Founded in 1991, Tilde is a leading European language technology developer with offices in all three Baltic states. In addition to machine translation technology, Tilde’s other popular language technology products include proofing tools, online dictionaries, and the market-leading Tilde Translator app for mobile phones and tablets.
by Rihards Kalniņš