Facebook opens translation app for Inuktut speakers on Nunavut Day

Facebook app on phone

Facebook has announced that it plans to open its Translate Facebook app to Inuktut speakers to help translate the social network.

Facebook is partnering with Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI), the legal representative of the Inuit in Nunavut. Additionally, the social network partnered with language authority Inuit Uqausinginnik Taiguusiliuqtiit (IUT).

Furthermore, Monday is Nunavut Day, and Facebook is marking the occasion by opening Inuktut translation on the app.

Starting today, Inuktut speakers will be able to access the Translate Facebook app through desktop or mobile.

When accessing the app, users can propose translations for strings of words and phrases used on Facebook. Other users in the community can vote on proposed translations. If a translation receives enough votes, it becomes the official proposed translation for that phrase or string.

Depending on the volume of community feedback, Facebook expects to make Inuktuk available on the network in 2019.

“Facebook’s recognition of their role in the promotion and use of Inuktut is very much welcomed,” said Aluki Kotierk, president of NTI.

Translate Facebook was created in 2007 to help communities translate the social network into different languages.

The social network is now available in more than 100 languages. Additionally, more than one billion people use Facebook in languages other than English.

“This is a good example of a company playing a positive leadership role in promoting the use of Inuktut,” said David Joanasie, Nunavut’s minister of languages.

“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’s good to see Facebook providing these tools to help people translate Facebook. Community is incredibly important, and the social network is an essential communication tool. The ability to communicate in one’s native language is important.

The tool also provides agency to language speakers. Instead of having a computer or a person not familiar with the language complete the translation, speakers can have a say regarding the translation.

Users can access the Translate Facebook app here.