The government of Estonia has ordered the development of a central translation platform for the country, according to a July 9 report from Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR, from Estonian “Eesti Rahvusringhääling”). The nation’s Ministry of Justice said on July 2 that in developing the platform, it aims to bolster and increase the Estonian language’s digital accessibility, ensuring its use in online platforms.
“The translation environment is aimed to be used first and foremost by the public sector for translating official texts; however, open access will be provided to the technological solutions and they can also be used for private sector development, which will strengthen the position of the Estonian language in the digital world and increase the number of products with Estonian language support,” said Maris Lauri, Estonia’s minister of justice, according to ERR.
The platform, which will be in development from 2022 through 2026, will feature domain-specific glossaries and machine translation (MT) engines, according to ERR. Its development is currently set to be led by Estonia’s Ministry of Research and Education, alongside the Ministry of Justice and a handful of other government agencies in the country.
Once completed, the platform will be available to everyone in Estonia, though it will be primarily geared toward use in government affairs. The government believes that this development will support the country’s economic growth as it will mitigate language barriers for companies looking to conduct business on an international level, thus making them more competitive in an increasingly globalized market.
“It is also important to highlight that the technologies to be offered on the platform will foster the integration of speakers of other languages as translations of texts and speeches in Estonian will rapidly reach residents whose first language is not Estonian,” Lauri said. “It also ensures better access for people with hearing loss and visual impairment by turning translations into text or speech, respectively”