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#4818: MIT2 President's Update (fwd)
Keywords: Haitian Creole, computer technologies, Jeff Allen
These are very exciting days in the life of Mason Integrated Technologies Ltd
Here are just some of the recent developments:
1) MIT2's new CEO Jeff Allen and I have just put the finishing touches on
MIT2's revised Business Plan, to establish once and for all a real "business
case" for investors to support the R&D activities of MIT2 and its partners on
behalf of Haitian Creole and other under-supported languages. We've always
had the "heartfelt" case; but serious investors need more than that before
they'll hand over any significant amount of money. And the only way we'll get
to gear up to full operational level is to bring in the money.
If you would like to see a copy of the short form of the new Business Plan
(23 pages), please notify me or Jeff and we'll try to make proper
arrangements for that to happen.
2) Jeff's recent white paper on computer technologies and Creole (available
online in both Haitian Creole and English) has been making its appearance in
a number of Internet forums and provoking much interest, debate, and
soul-searching. This single paper may very well be one of the most
significant documents ever written in Haitian Creole on this subject. MIT2 is
proud of Jeff for not only writing this paper, but for writing it first in
Creole and then translating it into English! We are also grateful to the
Haitian Creole linguist who gave the paper the quality assurance "once over"
to guarantee that it was in good form.
3) Regarding the strategic partnership with the Transnational Arctic and
Antarctic Institute in Anchorage, Alaska, we are pleased to announce that the
historic CATANAL Report is now posted to the MIT2 Web Site. Entitled "Kayaks
and Cyberspace: Encounters of Cultures and Technologies" is a report of the
Computer-Assisted Translation of Alaska Native Languages Workshop, held in
Fairbanks, Alaska, May 20-21, 1999.
Allow me to whet your appetite with this quote from the Foreward:
"Many languages around the world fade to a mere whisper every day. Experts
estimate that as many as 90 percent of the world's languages will disappear
by the 21st century because of the dominance of English and other 'official
world languages'. Global technologies, like the Internet and satellite
communications, and the news and entertainment industries further exacerbate
the problem by disseminating information in these dominant languages.
Efforts are underway to stem this tide. Yet as in most of the social
sciences, perpetuation of languages does not receive appropriate recognition
by the public, is woefully short of financial support, and lacks the required
number of trained linguists to cope successfully with the huge task at hand."
This alliance follows closely on the heels of recent strategic partnering
agreements with Haiti Online, CreoleTrans, and Educational CyberPlayGround,
as well as a letter of intent filed with Windows On Haiti.
The challenges facing MIT2 in addressing the logistics of bringing together
technology with under-supported languages are so great that MIT2 cannot do
Therefore, expect to hear of many more partnership agreements in the days,
weeks, and months ahead as MIT2 tries to bring together in an atmosphere of
full and fair collaboration all relevant parties to address these matters
4) This month I'll be participating in SCL-13 (the 13th biennial meeting of
the Society for Caribbean Linguistics in Mona, Jamaica. I'll be presenting a
paper entitled "Survey of Human Language Technologies for Creole Languages",
co-authored with Jeff Allen.
While there, I'll also be meeting with a number of Creole specialists to
investigate the possibilities of partnering together on some near-, mid-, and
long-term collaborative language technologies projects.
Marilyn Mason, President
Mason Integrated Technologies Ltd (MIT2)
P.O. Box 181015
Boston, MA 02118 USA
(617) 247-8885 (office & answering machine)
(617) 262-8923 (FAX)
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