Expert working on universal networking language

Paolo Gambi, Rinascimento poetico

EXPERTS WORKING ON UNIVERSAL NETWORKING LANGUAGE

UNITED NATIONS, NOV 23 (REUTERS) – MORE THAN 120 COMPUTER AND LINGUISTICS EXPERTS AR#E WORKING ON A COMPUTER LANGUAGE TO ENABLE PEOPLE TO COMMUNICATE OVER THE INTERNET IN THEIR MOTHER TONGUES WITH PEOPLE WHO SPEAK OTHER LANGUAGES, PROJECT OFFICIALS TOLD A NEWS CONFERENCE ON MONDAY.
THE UNIVERSAL NETWORKING LANGUAGE (UNL) IS BEING PERFECTED AT THE INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED STUDIES OF THE TOKYO-BASED UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSITY.
UNLIKE MACHINE TRANSLATIONS, WHICH TRANSLATE ONE LANGUAGE INTO ANOTHER, A TEXT IN ONE LANGUAGE WOULD GO THROUGH A SOFTWARE APPLICATION CALLED AN "EDITOR" THAT "ENCONVERTED" IT INTO UNL AND COULD THEN BE "DECONVERTED" INTO OTHER LANGUAGES.
"IT IS NOT FOR TRANSLATING SHAKESPEARE OR POETRY OR EVEN A PHILOSOPHICAL TEXT," SAID PROFESSOR TARCISIO DELLA SENTA OF BRAZIL, DIRECTOR OF THE INSTITUTE.
BUT IT WOULD BE USEFUL FOR A LOGICAL TEXT, SUCH AS THAT USED IN SCIENCE OR COMMERCE.
WHEN A PERSON WROTE SOMETHING IN HIS MOTHER TONGUE, ITS UNL VERSION WOULD FIRST BE PLAYED BACK TO HIM IN HIS OWN LANGUAGE, ENABLING HIM TO MAKE CHANGES TO ENSURE IT REFLECTED HIS PRECISE MEANING.
ONE INTENDED BENEFIT OF UNL IS THAT PEOPLE WHO SPEAK RELATIVELY LITTLE-USED LANGUAGES COULD UNDERSTAND TEXTS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN OTHER LANGUAGES. THEY WOULD ALSO BE ABLE TO GIVE WIDER DISSEMINATION TO TEXTS WRITTEN IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGES.
"THE WHOLE PHILOSOPHY IS TO TRY TO GIVE A VOICE OR ACCESS TO THOSE LANGUAGES OR ETHNIC GROUPS THAT ARE LEFT OUT," DELLA SENTA SAID.
THE FIRST STAGE OF THE UNL PROJECT, LAUNCHED IN APRIL 1996, IS TO CREATE CONVERSION MODULES FOR 16 LANGUAGES. THOSE INCLUDE THE SIX OFFICIAL U.N. LANGUAGES — ARABIC, CHINESE, ENGLISH, FRENCH, RUSSIAN AND SPANISH — AS WELL AS GERMAN, HINDI, INDONESIAN, ITALIAN, JAPANESE, LATVIAN, MONGOLIAN, PORTUGUESE, SWAHILI AND THAI.
CONVERSION SOFTWARE FOR EACH LANGUAGE IS BEING DEVELOPED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH GOVERNMENTS, RESEARCH INSTITUTES, UNIVERSITIES AND PARTICIPATING COMPANIES.
THE AIM IS FOR THE LANGUAGES USED BY ALL U.N. MEMBERS — NOW 185 COUNTRIES — TO BE SUPPORTED BY UNL BY THE YEAR 2005.
23-11-98

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