To implement and advance Urdu as a national language, the Ministry of Planning and Development has approved the creation of the National Language Processing Laboratory. Details indicate that the National Language Processing Laboratory’s PC-One has received approval for a price tag of approximately 78 million rupees.

Urdu As A National Language 

The National Language Promotion Department will oversee the project’s execution, with the Ministry of National Heritage and Culture Division serving as the sponsor.

According to Director General NLPD Dr. Rashid Hameed, who is working with the department established in October 1979 to advance and promote the Urdu national language.

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“The core objective of the project is to elevate Urdu to the status of languages with extensive digital data resources and equip it with modern technology applications.” 

Image source: nation

The project, according to Dr. Rashid Hameed, will develop several applications, including Machine Translation (MT), Speech Recognition (SR), and Optical Character Recognition (OCR), to improve access to language learning, facilitate cross-border communication and commerce, allow users to access online content, foster cross-cultural understanding, and help preserve language resources.

While providing more information about the project, Syeda Roshana Ali Naqvi, the program manager for research and development at the NLPD, revealed that the machine translation module employed computer techniques to automatically translate text from English to Urdu.

“This module will efficiently provide translations of all current official documents from English to Urdu, including policies, press releases, economic surveys, annual reports, long-term plans, newsletters, public notices, tenders, and advertisements,” she added.

“This technology will help digitize Urdu audio resources, such as parliamentary speeches and meeting minutes. Meanwhile, speech recognition technology could increase accessibility and inclusivity for those with hearing and speech impairments.” She further added.

In contrast, the OCR module will transform the printed text into editable digital text. In comparison to manual typing, this will significantly reduce the time and effort required to digitize previously printed records. The text will be searchable thanks to the OCR module, making it simpler to use and gain access to.

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