On Thursday, March 22, Fresno State and Microsoft Research will host a community event in the Peters Educational Center on the Fresno State Campus (Student Recreation Center) to unveil the first in the world machine translator for Hmong. The translator is a collaborative effort between Microsoft Research, The College of Arts and Humanities at Fresno State, and the Hmong community.
The event will be from 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM. Speakers and presenters will include researchers from Microsoft Research, representatives from Fresno State, and members from the Hmong community who have been involved with this project.
The machine translator puts Hmong on par with other better known languages of the world as a fully supported language by Microsoft. The project’s main objective is to provide a means to preserve the Hmong language and build awareness for it among the younger generation of Hmong.
The translator is a free web-based application that allows the Hmong community access to any material on the Web, including the vast majority of content that does not exist in Hmong. The tool is able to provide a translation from any of the Microsoft supported languages to Hmong and vice versa. This will have a great impact for the community as Hmong speakers will be able to access information that may not have been easily available to them before, such as educational, governmental, news, and other types of websites. In addition, a host of other tools are available for Hmong, including a chat bot translator, an app for smart phones, and a host of programmer services for those who want to develop additional tools for the Hmong language.
For more information on this project and event, please contact Phong Yang at (559)278-1164.