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A Network of Excellence forging the
Multilingual Europe Technology Alliance

META-NET White Paper Series

Europe's Languages in the Digital Age

32 Volumes cover 31 European Languages

Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hungarian, Icelandic, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Norwegian (bokmål), Norwegian (nynorsk), Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Swedish, Welsh.

At a Glance

Aims and Scope

META-NET, a Network of Excellence consisting of 60 research centres from 34 countries, is dedicated to building the technological foundations of a multilingual European information society.

META-NET is forging META, the Multilingual Europe Technology Alliance. The benefits offered by Language Technology differ from language to language. So do the actions that need to be taken within META-NET, depending on the factors such as the complexity of the respective language, the size of its community, and the existence of active research centres in this area.

Together with more than 200 contributing experts from all over Europe, the META-NET Network of Excellence conducted a large and comprehensive study on 30 European languages and the level of support they receive through Language Technologies. This study was published in the 30 volumes of the META-NET Language White Paper series “Europe's Languages in the Digital Age” which also discusses the most urgent risks and chances of the languages in question. The series covers all official EU languages and several other languages spoken in geographical Europe. While there have been a number of valuable and comprehensive scientific studies on certain aspects of languages and technology, there exists no generally understandable compendium that takes a stand by presenting the main findings and challenges for each language. The META-NET White Paper Series fills this gap. The very alarming conclusion of the study is that more than 20 European languages are in danger of digital extinction. 

Quotes and Testimonials

  • Andrius Kubilius (Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania): “Having preserved a close link with the old Indo-European parent languages, the Lithuanian language today satisfies the needs of the modern society perfectly well. However, active users of the Lithuanian language only amount to several million. Conserving it for future generations is a responsibility of the whole of the European Union. How we proceed with developing information technology will pretty much determine the future of the Lithuanian language.”
  • Dr. Danilo Türk (President of the Republic of Slovenia): “It is imperative that language technologies for Slovene are developed systematically if we want Slovene to flourish also in the future digital world.”
  • Valdis Dombrovskis (Prime Minister of Latvia): “Diversity of cultures, traditions and languages is one of the most important treasures of Europe and it is our duty to preserve this heritage for generations to come. For such small languages like Latvian keeping up with the ever increasing pace of time and technological development is crucial. The only way to ensure future existence of our language is to provide its users with equal opportunities as the users of larger languages enjoy. Therefore being on the forefront of modern technologies is our opportunity.”
  • Prof. Dr. Annette Schavan (German Minister of Education and Research): “Europe's inherent multilingualism and our scientific expertise are the perfect prerequisites for significantly advancing the challenge that language technology poses. META-NET opens up new opportunities for the development of ubiquitous multilingual technologies.”
  • All quotes and testimonials (60)


Is Your Language Missing?

Is your national or regional European language missing in the current META-NET White Paper Series as presented on this page? If you think that you can assemble a team of authors from, for example, linguistics, computational linguistics and language technology, please get in touch with series co-editor Georg Rehm.

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