Universal Networking Language a Means to Bridge Digital Divide

 Universal Networking Language   a Means to Bridge Digital Divide


The last decade of the 20th century witnessed an unimaginary acceleration in the development of information technology in all fields of life. The decade also witnessed a great increase in the spread and popularity of the internet. Tens of millions of people of almost all levels of education and attitudes, of different jobs all over the world use the internet, and for different purposes. English is the main language of the internet. Understandably, not all people know English. Urgent need, therefore, arose to develop interlanguage translation programs. Among those who did their best to tackle this problem was the United Nations University/ Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU/IAS). The Institute conducted a review of all internationally available machine translation programs, and as a result, decided to start devising a better, more efficient and more workable technique via the internet; a technique more accessible to the users of the internet (whose native languages are of course different) and which makes shorter the long track of bilingual translation programs, each of which needs a special software.

The baby was the Universal Networking Language (UNL). The main aim of the UNL is to overcome language barriers. The UNL is based on developing an intermediary language system whereby any written text can be converted to many languages (all languages involved in the program) and simultaneously, all texts written in different languages can be converted to that particular language.


The UNL is a conceptual computer semantic language, in that words which express the same concept are grouped together under one main category. It is system for multi-lingual communications. Not only will the UNL provide people with equal opportunities to participate in economic and social activities but it will also mean that all people can access science, technology, economic and social information in their own language. People throughout the world will

be provided with equal opportunity in business and education of science and technology.


In particular, the fair distribution of information will support the activities of international organizations such as the United Nation and make them more truly international.


By way of illustration, the following figure shows the UNL system and how one language is converted to another:


In this paper, i highlight the most important features of this program, its development, the languages and countries involved, and what has been accomplished so far by this program

nguage   a Means to Bridge Digital Divide

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