An Icelandic delegation has arrived in the United States to meet with tech companies about the importance of the Icelandic language being integrated into devices, RÚV reports. Iceland’s delegation is headed by President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson and Minister of Culture and Trade Lilja D. Alfreðsdóttir.
Lilja told the national broadcaster there needs to be broad collaboration in order to ensure the digital future of Icelandic language. She extended praise to computer scientists and entrepreneurs for the progress Iceland has made. Representatives from Apple said few countries have come as far as Iceland in developing language technology.
“Few issues are as important to me as Icelandic, it is the basis of everything we do and stand for,” said Lilja, who is working on four core projects of the Icelandic government’s language technology program.
Dictating in Icelandic
Among the innovations on the Icelandic delegation’s wish list is speech recognition that provides the ability to communicate verbally with devices. This is of particular importance for increasing the accessibility of those unable to type text.
Speech synthesizers are also being developed that can read Icelandic text clearly, to sound natural and be more easily understood, as are translation programs, auto-correct tools and language databases.