Keeping Languages Alive Metavoicer Celebrates International Mother Language Day

Sometimes languages can be brought back from the brink. Welsh, for example, was long suppressed by the English, but in recent years has enjoyed a renaissance. Rock groups singing in Welsh had international success, and two attractive young people holding a conversation in Welsh on the TV show Big Brother provoked much comment. Nearly a third of the people of Wales now say they speak their national language, with 15 percent using Welsh daily. A popular, though probably apocryphal, internet meme has a pompous man telling a Muslim woman “Speak English in our country!”—to be told “this is Wales, and she’s speaking Welsh.”
Linguistic diversity is part of the richness of human heritage. Languages carry information too, which can be lost if the language dies. For example, the discovery that the Malagasy language spoken on the African island of Madagascar is Austronesian, related to Malay and Hawaiian, tells us much about the global movement of people in ancient times.
Metavoicer supports and celebrates linguistic diversity. The theme of this year’s International Mother Language Day is “Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and opportunities," and Metavoicer is a technology which presents opportunities for learning. The popular TTS app can read text in over 60 languages and dialects, which include not only the big hitters like English and Chinese, but also minority languages such as Sundanese, spoken in western Java, and Catalan, the language of Barcelona an