The NAACLT 2015 Conference

The North American Association of Celtic Language Teachers

The North American Association of Celtic Language Teachers

I was introduced to NAACLT (the North American Association of Celtic Language Teachers) back in 2000 when they decided to hold their conference in Europe for the first time. My interests aren’t primarily in language teaching, but their remit seemed to be very broad, and their 2000 conference at Limerick, Ireland was going to focus on The Information Age, Celtic Languages and the New Millennium. I went to it, and have been hooked ever since. It’s interesting that we’ve had to look to North America for an association which provides a meeting place for all the Celtic languages in an innovative, forward-looking context, rather than one which looks to the past in a historical setting.

The association is a good balance between academics, community teachers, activists and enthusiasts – maybe that’s one reason I like it so much. I’ve always found its conferences a good place to present projects on software and computational matters, and talking to colleagues interested in all six living Celtic languages.

The conference this year will be held in Portland, Oregon from the 4th – 6th June. It’s not too late to think of attending, and the deadline for submitting papers is the 1st of April (abstracts of between 200 and 300 words to Kevin Scannell by that date).

Further details may be found on the website at Portland may be a long way from the Atlantic shores of Celtic Europe, but it’ll be very convivial place for us all come June this year.

This was a message from Delyth Prys.

Mozilla Celtic Languages Localization Meetup, Bangor 6-7/3/15

MozillaThese are my personal impressions from the meetup.

First off, it was fantastic for Mozilla to show their commitment to supporting the localization of their products in such a tangible way. Thanks to Jeff, Francesco and Dwayne for their support and encouragement during these sessions.

Meeting people I’d heard of through websites and e-mail and had admire their contribution and energy is always a pleasure as is meeting people I’d not heard about but had put in large amounts of effort to support their language and the aims of Mozilla. This was a very pleasant experience.

Things that made an impression on me:

The need for information material on paper, leaflets and posters to give out and to place prominent positions at people’s place of work, schools, colleges, etc. In the meantime, I’ve registered for the Mozilla monthly e-mail newsletter to see if there is a source of information I could reuse locally. It’s looking promising…

Vouching is important to Mozilla and Mozillians. If you’re not  a Mozillian and have contributed to Mozilla’s mission, then chase it up! If you’re a Mozillian you need to check where you stand following the recent change in the vouching system, you need at least 3 vouches from fellow Mozillians who have appreciated your work for you to be able to appreciate other people’s work!

Working together, talking together, helping each other out. These were qualities we saw during our two days together. That’s why I’ve set up this website to continue with our co-operation across the Celtic languages and across a wide set of software relevant to our situations. I hope you will find it useful.


Hacio’r iaith ‘Conference’

Hacio'r iaithThe Hacio’r iaith (hack the language) meeting is held annually along with some activity at the National Eisteddfod. It’s a ‘nonconference’, in that the sessions are arranged on the day with energy and enthusiasm, sometimes of a revolutionary nature. This year’s meeting was held at  the Management Centre at Bangor University on 15/3/15, the day after the Through Technological Means Conference. The attendance was about 50 from the media, national bodies, software developers, and ordinary citizens (like me).

Some of the sessions I remember include:

Presentation on some of the software released by the Language Technologies Unit at the previous day’s Through Technological Means conference. The presentation focused on apis for the Welsh robotic voice and to extend the use of the Welsh grammar checker Cysill, by Patrick Robertson.

A discussion on the development and future of Ffrwti, a twitter and blog aggregator and Cymru Fyw, the BBC Welsh news mobile app ( Apple / Android ) and website. The session included quick 2 minutes presentations on Pootle, Thunderbird, Firefox iOS,

A podcast from Hacio’r iaith, starring Carl Morris and Rhodri ap Dyfrig, organisers of the event and Delyth Prys, about the Through Technological Means conference and the opportunities the new software releases offer (again!).

A Wikipedia session run by Rhys Wynne.

Gweiadur – an introduction to the on-line dictionary.

Dyddiadur Kate by Sara Huws – Kate Rowlands kept a brief diary during 1915 and these are being released as daily tweets by the National Folk Museum of Wales. (Use Google Translate).

A session on translating software into Welsh by Aled Powell.

A session on using Vine by Carl and Rhodri.

Welsh National Language Technologies Portal

Welsh National Language Technologies PortalThe ‘Through Technological Means’ 2015 Conference, Bangor 6/3/15 was held to launch the new Welsh Language Technologies Portal and highlight the software the Language Technologies Unit, Canolfan Bedwyr, Bangor University have released on open licences to enable further use of Welsh within technologies and to be adapted for other less supported languages.

All the resources are available at the Portal and include: Corpora, Translation, Speech,  API Services Widgets and a link to the resources at Git Hub.

You can also follow the Techiaith blog

Details of the conference are available at the conference web page.