There has been increasing attention in the past few years to the challenges of multilingualism in digital practice. It has been widely accepted that digital ecosystems have a ‘language and geocultural diversity’ problem – at present they have a strong bias towards firstly English, and then a small group of (mostly European) languages. A series of initiatives has attempted to address this imbalance in a variety of ways, whether driven by practice (language diversity guidelines, multilingual toolkits, open data repositories, and endangered languages archives) or theory (biocultural diversity, digital modern languages and translingual/transcultural critiques). 

This two-day virtual workshop brings together leading researchers, educators, digital practitioners, language-focused professionals, policy makers and other interested parties to address the challenges of multilingualism in digital spaces and to collectively propose new models and solutions. The workshop will combine both conceptual (strategy, policy and theory) and practical perspectives (digital ecosystems, methods and tools with a focus on language). It aims to strengthen connections between numerous overlapping digital and languages-driven conversations and initiatives. 

The core themes of the workshop are: 

  • Linguistic and geocultural diversity in digital knowledge infrastructures 
  • Working with multilingual data 
  •  Transcultural and translingual approaches to digital study

Panellists include:

  • Anasuya Sengupta - Whose Knowledge?
  • Cosima Wagner - Freie Universität Berlin
  • Kalika Bali - Microsoft Research India
  • Eduard Arriaga - University of Indianapolis

Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, this workshop has been reshaped as a virtual event with a series of synchronous/live and asynchronous/pre-recorded interventions, using a combination of audiovisual and text-based tools. It will include a combination of lightning talks, demos, posters, panels and a mini-workshop, and participation on social channels is encouraged. For further information and programme, see the workshop website.

This workshop is led by the Language Acts and Worldmaking project with the support of the Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community project, funded by the AHRC under its Open World Research Initiative.