Towards the Primary Platform for
Language Technologies in Europe

How does the European Language Grid strengthen linguistic diversity?

Happy faces and the ELG logo

Europe consists of more than 40 different countries and even more cultures. Everyone brings something unique to the table, languages being one of the more obvious aspects. Although it is possible to encounter five different languages within a fifteen minute train ride, this diversity is less represented when it comes to the digital world and especially language technology. As was shown in the META-NET White Paper Series in 2012, tools like machine translation, text-to-speech applications and text summarisation work predominantly in English, with languages like German, French and Spanish following closely behind. Languages with weaker support include Icelandic, Latvian, Welsh and Irish.

In order to preserve and strengthen Europe’s unique linguistic diversity, languages that are less widespread need to be equally supported and represented. Welsh serves as a fitting example here: although the overall use of the language was declining, the last few decades have been marked by revitalisation efforts – governmental, scientific and social – that work towards bilinguality being more common in Wales. One of the key aspects of this is strengthening bilingual communication and representation online.

For many, English is the go-to language of the internet. Not only is it used in communication; a lot of websites also default to English even though versions in other languages are available. Looking at the big picture, this risks smaller languages falling by the wayside. On an individual level, there is another reason for this to be an issue: not everyone speaks English, and for some of those that do, it can be a chore to get through a paragraph they would much more comfortably read in their own language. Once again regarding Welsh, there is a tool that provides a start in overcoming this issue: The Welshify Widget. The plugin lets users know when a Welsh version of a website is available and guides them through the process of changing their browser settings to set Welsh as their preferred language.

By highlighting Welsh versions of websites, the widget fosters an online environment that is more inclusive towards Welsh native speakers. There are a variety of digital language tools that have similar effects for a wide range of European languages, by making smaller languages available in the digital world and supporting their usage. Each one of them contributes towards strengthening linguistic diversity and equality among European languages.

In an effort to reach those goals, it is necessary to know where each European language has gaps in digital support. The European Language Equality (ELE) project examines 70+ European languages individually, analysing where sufficient support exists and where more is needed. The results of this research will be presented in a strategic agenda and roadmap, detailing what needs to be done to reach digital language equality by 2030.

In order to make that equality a reality, language resources need to reach their intended user base. Potential consumers need to know what is available. The European Language Grid (ELG) aims to facilitate this, among other things. The ELG is a platform that hosts European language technologies with the goal of becoming their primary hub. Companies and research facilities can upload and link their projects on ELG. Having one centralised hub like the ELG will enable developers to get the word out about their products, while users have an easier time finding and downloading the type of tool they want.

ELG also allows developers to test their tools or services, which in turn makes them easier and faster to finalize. This is also aided by the communication that is made possible through the ELG. Language technology developers are able to learn from and collaborate with each other, which, among other things, opens the door to potential translations of existing tools into other European languages. Faster development of tools and communication within the language technology community will quickly create more available technologies and resources. The heightened number and visibility of these resources will not only boost individual languages – in doing so, the linguistic diversity that already exists in Europe will be strengthened as well.

Tools like the Welshify Widget make the online experience more inclusive for non-English speakers and help revitalize the language of a European culture. The ELG as the main hub for European language technology aims to provide the platform for projects like these to reach their full potential and work towards digital language equality.


Survey for LT developers and users: Shape the future of European Language Technology

Despite the recognizable advantages and historical and cultural worth of multilingualism, the many European languages face a striking imbalance in terms of their preservation in the digital world and their support by language technology. The European Language Equality project (ELE) addresses this risk to European identity in the digital age by preparing a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda and Roadmap working towards digital language equality by 2030. The European Language Grid (ELG) is closely related to this project, offering LT developers, researchers and providers an inclusive platform to present, share and market their language technologies and connect within the European LT community.

As part of the two projects that are funded by the European Commission and address an appeal by the European Parliament resolution titled “Language equality in the digital age”, we are reaching out both to LT developers and LT users to participate in a large-scale, EU-wide consultation that will impact and shape the future of language technologies in the multilingual continent. The two surveys are aimed on the one hand at academic and commercial developers in the field of Language Technology (LT), Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Language-centric Artificial Intelligence (AI) and on the other at all Language Technology users and consumers.

The questionnaire takes approximately 20 minutes to fill in; your answers will help evaluating the level of LT support for European Languages, indicating the challenges and highlighting the needs and expectations of professionals and users in the future. Your contributions will be carefully taken into account when preparing the ELE strategic agenda and roadmap.

The European Language Equality project is a pan-European effort that will significantly impact the field and funding situation of LT in Europe for the next 10 to 15 years. Help us shape the future of multilingualism in the digital age – join in!


  • Survey for Language Technology developers

  • Survey for Language Technology users and consumers

  • Anonymisation Training Day for Young Researchers

    On 25 May 2021, the H2020 project LT-Bridge will organise a training day focusing on anonymisation, which is especially targeted at young researchers in the area of computer linguistics, computer science and language technology. Supported by the Latvian Language Technology company Tilde, the free online event will take place from 11:00 am to 15:30 pm CEST via Zoom.

    The training day will give early-stage researchers the possibility to get together to explore the possibilities of anonymisation in the context of language data, in addition to connecting and extending their networks. Besides a general overview of anonymisation, including different strategies, levels and challenges with regard to language data, the training day will also focus more specifically on:

    – Anonymisation for monolingual text analysis
    – Named Entity Recognition for anonymisation
    – Parallel text anonymisation for machine translation
    – Anonymisation of speech data
    – Legal aspects of anonymisation
    – Available tools and applications

    To join the event, register here

    About LT-Bridge

    The LT-Bridge project is coordinated by the University of Malta’s AI Department and the Institute of Computational Linguistics. It aims to strengthen both the research and innovation capacities at the University of Malta and to create a European-level Centre of Excellence, which is capable of narrowing or even closing the technology gap for Maltese. The Horizon 2020 project started on 1 January 2021 and is based on a collaboration between University of Malta, the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), the ADAPT Centre of Dublin City University (DCU), and the IDIAP Research Institute (IDIAP) in Switzerland.


    CEF Market Study Report published


    Cover page of the market study
    Market study PDF download

    diagram of LT technology use, headline: Are you interested in or already using
    Status of use of LT in Europe
    In October 2019 the „Final study report on CEF Automated Translation value proposition in the context of the European LT market/ecosystem“ was published. The study was commissioned by the European Commission and it was carried out by Luc Meertens (CROSSLANG), Stefania Aguzzi (IDC) as well as ELG consortium members Khalid Choukri (ELDA) and Andrejs Vasiljevs (Tilde).
    This study provides an analysis of the Language Technology market in the EU (taking into account supply and demand), of LT adoption by public services in the EU, and of the EU’s competitiveness with respect to the US and Asia in three LT areas. The analyses show that suppliers are often SMEs with local solutions and that public services have a strong interest for translation technology.
    However, the worldwide LT market, that is dominated by large players, has deficiencies regarding under-resourced languages, customisation needs, and security and privacy requirements. Based on the results of the analyses, the study develops a business model for CEF AT by defining the latter’s value proposition in the context of the market.
    Title: Report on CEF Automated Translation value proposition in the context of the European LT market/ecosystem
    Project Number: 2019.1438
    Linguistic version Media/Volume Catalogue number ISBN DOI
    EN PDF PDF/Volume_01 KK-03-19-154-EN-N 978-92-76-00783-8 10.2759/142151


    2. Hackathon: 29 July-2 August in Sheffield

    group photo hackathon Sheffield
    Hackathon of the European Language Grid project at the University of Sheffield (UK) (29 July – 02 August, 2019).
    Front row (from left to right): Gerhard Backfried (SAIL LABS), Florian Kintzel (DFKI), Ian Roberts (USFD), Ela Elsholz (DFKI), Severin Stampler (SAIL LABS), Uldis Silins (Tilde), Miltos Deligiannis (ILSP), Cristian Berrio (ESI), Dimitris Galanis (ILSP).

    On our way to demonstrating the European Language Grid at META-FORUM 2019, (8/9 October in Brussels, Belgium), members of the various technical teams came together for the 2nd ELG-Hackathon at the University of Sheffield (UK) between 29 July and 2 August, 2019. The goal of the hackathon was to discuss current topics and to extend the grid in order to accommodate emerging issues. In a productive and innovative atmosphere, several new components could successfully be added to the grid this way.

    The ELG technical team is looking forward to continuing the work on the system and to demonstrating it in October at META-FORUM 2019.


    ELG Website launched

    The website of the European Language Grid project was launched on 28 March 2019. In its first version, the website provides a basic overview of the project, its history, methodology and approach.

    This initial face to the public will be developed further and extended with additional content and details about the project until the European Language Grid proper will be deployed.

    The project website will regularly report on the ELG progress and events, for example, META-FORUM 2019, which will take place on 8/9 October 2019. The open calls for pilot projects will also be announced and published on this website.

    To keep in touch and stay up to date, please make sure to subscribe to the ELG newsletter.

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    Screenshot of the ELG landing page