Facebook Canada opens Inuktut for translation on Nunavut Day
TORONTO, July 9, 2018 – Facebook Canada, in partnership with Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) and Inuit Uqausinginnik Taiguusiliuqtiit (IUT), announced that it is opening Inuktut for translation so that the community can help translate Facebook into their language. Giving people the ability to connect in their own language on Facebook is essential to helping people build more meaningful connections on the platform.
Starting today, Inuktut speakers can access the Translate Facebook app via desktop and mobile to offer a proposed translation for the strings of words and phrases that make up the Facebook interface. When someone has offered a proposed translation, others in the community can vote the translation “up” or “down”. Once a translation has been voted up enough, it becomes the official proposed translation for that string. The launch of Facebook in Inuktut is slated for 2019, based on the volume of feedback received from the community.
“We’ve been working closely with Indigenous leaders across Canada to better understand how we can improve Facebook to better serve their communities. One key piece of feedback we’ve heard is the strong desire among Indigenous peoples to engage in their own languages on Facebook,” said Kevin Chan, Head of Public Policy at Facebook Canada. “Language is vital to connection and to building community, which is why we are excited to begin that process today with Inuktut.”
Facebook built the Translate Facebook app in 2007 to enable everyone in the community to translate the Facebook interface into different languages. Now, Facebook is available in more than 100 languages and is used by over one billion people in languages other than English.
“Facebook’s recognition of their role in the promotion and use of Inuktut is very much welcomed, particularly in Nunavut where it is the public majority language. This is refreshing because Inuit in Nunavut use Facebook to connect. We need all sectors to work together to create and expand spaces where we hear, speak and write Inuktut,” said Aluki Kotierk, President at Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated.
“IUT is very pleased to be partnering with NTI and Culture and Heritage along with the Facebook team to begin the process of translating Facebook to Inuktut. As we all know social media plays a big role in communications especially among our young people. Providing an interface and allowing communications in our language is one of the ways we can encourage our people to use our language in all areas including the very widely used social media,” said Mary Thompson, Chairperson of the Inuit Uqausinginnik Taiguusiliuqtiit, Nunavut’s Inuit Language Authority.
“This is a good example of a company playing a positive leadership role in promoting the use of Inuktut. I applaud this initiative which will help improve access to technologies for our unilingual Inuit Elders and help them remain connected with their children and grandchildren living in other communities. It will help strengthen and normalize the use of Inuktut on social media by all Nunavummiut,” said David Joanasie, Nunavut Minister of Languages.
About Facebook Canada
Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. More than 23 million Canadians use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them. Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc. All other brand or product names mentioned may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.
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