The digital cultural heritage sector touches upon scenarios where multilingualism plays a crucial role, in order to cater for the information needs of citizens and organisations throughout the European Union. One such scenario consists of searching through large digital inventories of metadata describing cultural objects. Imagine metadata providing a description of a Greek painting depicting a dish. A French food historian looking for paintings on the Europeana website may likely provide search terms like peinture (“painting”), plat (“dish”) and poisson (“fish”) and retrieve a list of paintings with a French description and possibly a French title. However, without the necessary multilingual support, the below Greek still-life with fish painted by twentieth-century artist Nikolaos Magiasis may remain out of reach. Another search scenario consists of diving into the very contents of artworks themselves, for instance historical documents. Uncountable are those who have never reached the desks of translators, leading valuable knowledge to be shielded from researchers.
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