Few days ago it came to my attention, that Bing has expanded their Text To Speach API with additional languages. I was surprised and very delighted to find that my native language (Slovene) is now one of 34 supported languages.
Why a surprise?
Slovene is with about 2.5 million speakers between top 5% of languages on the world today and it is on 179th place on this list (as you can read here in Slovene). So despite the fact that there are many more languages that are spoken much more often around the globe, I am delighted that it has been recognized and worth of implementing by Bing Cognitive services.
Who do we have to thank?
This is actually a good question. I do not want to pretend, that I know answer to this question, but let me speculate here a bit.
There is a fact, that there are many people from Slovenia working at Microsoft and through years they have landed on pretty high positions within the corporate infrastructure. Additionally, Slovenes are very active and working nation with sometimes very stubborn attitude (some might call it perseverance or endurance), which has helped to put Slovene language on Microsoft radar already as early as in 1995, when we got Slovene version of Windows 95 (here is original news from that time).
For the end of this article…
I am proud to be Slovene and I love to live in such small, yet very beautiful country. I am also proud that our hard working nature has put Slovene language to be used by advanced technologies as Bing’s Cognitive services. I will keep eyes opened for further services to support Slovene (e.g. Bing real time translation or Speach to text functions) and I will report back.
“Hey Cortana…”/”Hey Alexa…” “book me a holidays in Slovenia and teach me some phrases in Slovene!”
“Ostanite radovedni in nikoli se ne nehajte učit”