Translation Commons: UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages

Public group
Location image of event venue


The United Nations has declared 2019 to be "The International Year of Indigenous Languages" (IYIL) to raise awareness, not only for the benefit of the people who speak these languages, but also to help others appreciate the important contribution indigenous languages make to our world's rich cultural diversity.

Translation Commons is a social-civil partner in this UNESCO initiative, and has agreed to work on two important projects. The response from volunteer language professionals all over the word has been exceptional. The promise of digitizing so many more speakers globally mobilized linguists, academics, and companies alike, igniting a new spark for a worthwhile cause. The value of adding so many more languages to the digital environment is priceless to the language industry.

Translation Commons committed to these projects for IYIL 2019 and beyond:

1. A technical document titled "Indigenous Languages: From Zero to Digital", serving as a step-by-step guideline to help indigenous communities digitize. This will continue with specific support for individual communities' implementations.

2. A global university campaign to create as many classroom sessions and events as possible, dedicated to raising awareness of indigenous languages. UNESCO is inviting all TC participating universities to collaborate in creating an academic network for research, with our commitment to intensify efforts on raising the quality of training through knowledge sharing.

Tonight's speakers:

• Craig Cornelius has worked at Google since 2007 on the I18N libraries team. He participates in open source for the Unicode standard the Common Locale Data Repository (CLDR). He has been privileged to work with language communities just starting to use the internet, including Native American, Burmese and other indigenous speakers in Myanmar, Chakma in Bangladesh, and Fulfulde in the African Sahel.

• Jeannette Stewart is a globalization consultant to mainstream brands and advises them on best practices for their global content and workflows. She is co-founder of Translation Commons, a nonprofit online platform advancing linguistic professional enrichment with a mission: “to create a world without communication barriers where no language and no linguist is left behind”.

• Ludmila (Mila) Golovine is the President and CEO of MasterWord Services, Inc. Golovine is involved in many professional organizations; she chairs the Advisory Subcommittee for the Translation and Interpretation Program at the Houston Community College; she serves as the Texas Chapter Manager for Women in Localization; and serves as Translation Commons Advisor and Professors Group Chair.

• Johanna Behm has worked in four countries before relocating to the US in early March 2019. Her experiences in helping Nordic startups to enter the Central European market, being part of high growth marketing and sales teams in ERP and internet landscape, as well as her education in corporate finance and strategic entrepreneurship made her passionate about data driven decision making, and international communication.


Networking 6:30 - 7 PM, and after the talk as time allows
Directions and parking:
No webcast or recording is planned.


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Please RSVP via Meetup by 5 PM the Monday before the event to help IMUG and our hosts prepare badges for you in advance. After that time it's still OK to RSVP right up to the last minute, as that will help us ensure enough seats for everyone!

Many thanks to Tetyana Bruevich and LinkedIn for hosting this event!

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