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Dhivehi now on Bing Translator

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Dhivehi, Maldives’ official language, has been added to Microsoft’s Bing Translator.

The advancement was made possible by advances in machine learning and the company’s Azure AI.

In addition to Dhivehi, Bashkir, Georgian, Kyrgyz, Macedonian, Mongolian (Cyrillic), Mongolian (Traditional), Tatar, Tibetan, Turkmen, Uyghur and Uzbek (Latin), were also added. This collectively represents native languages spoken by 84.6 million people. With the addition of these 12 languages and dialects, Bing now caters to over 100 languages and dialects.

“One hundred languages is a good milestone for us to achieve our ambition for everyone to be able to communicate regardless of the language they speak,” said Xuedong Huang, Microsoft technical fellow and Azure AI chief technology officer.

Translator supports commonly spoken languages, including English, Hindi, Arabic, Spanish, and several languages from China. Microsoft has also spent several years improving AI technology to support low-resource and endangered languages, such as Inuktitut, which is a dialect of Inuktut that is spoken by around 40,000 Inuit in Canada.

Dhivehi is only spoken by Maldivians, though the language has linguistic and historical ties to Singhalese.

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Defence Minister Mariya Didi: Maldives will depend on India for matters of national security.

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Defence Minister Mariya Didi has stated that in matters of national security, the Maldives will depend on India. Defence Minister Mariya Didi made the statement while speaking at the passing out parade of the Ezhimala Indian Naval Academy.

Speaking at the ceremony, Minister Mariya Didi outlined on the Defence corporation partnership between the Maldives and India. She stated that on matters of security, the cooperation will be built around trust, fairness, mutual success and on ensuring the security of the Indian Ocean region.

She also noted that India was a historic partner in socioeconomic development and still retains the position. Minister Mariya Didi also stated that India had without fail managed to provide aid to the Maldives at times of crisis. She also noted on the biennial trilateral naval exercise DOSTI which celebrated its 30th year since its inception.

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Visit Maldives Kicks off Campaign to Maximize Brand Presence in the Balkan Region

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Visit Maldives kicks off marketing campaigns to maximize the Maldives’ brand presence in the Balkan region. The activities for this region will be held for a period of 6 months, starting from November 2021 until the end of March 2022.

The focus markets of the campaigns, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia & Romania, have the potential to contribute greatly to the overall tourist arrivals into the Maldives. These markets have shown substantial growth over the years, have great connectivity and accessibility along with the spending power to travel to the Maldives. These campaigns coincided with re-opening of borders for international travels in these markets, and would assist in creating better brand presence and awareness in these markets for the Maldives.

Activities to be held in this region include outdoor advertising and physical activities in Hungary, as well as virtual events and familiarization trips for the markets. Through the campaigns, we aim to promote the Maldives as a safe haven for travelers from the Balkan region. The campaigns will assist us to increase arrivals from these markets and educate the travel trade about services & amenities available in the Maldives. The campaigns will help us create better knowledge and buzz around the destination and generate media coverage, create B2C awareness through direct contact with the potential travelers and update them with the destination information and latest travel guidelines.

The campaigns will not only focus on B2B components but also B2C components which are equally important when it comes to generating interest in the destination and to prompt travel from these markets to the Maldives. The campaigns are held as part of the Visit Maldives’ marketing strategy for Balkan region, which focuses on marketing our products (resorts, hotels, guesthouses, liveaboards) and experiences unique to the Maldives.

Our global efforts are targeted to maintain destination presence and increase arrivals from top, emerging and new markets. It is also focused on promoting diverse segments of tourism that Maldives caters to, including luxury, family, MICE and budget tourists.

 

Source: http://www.visitmaldives.com

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COVID 19

Omicron variant – What do we know about it?

Hamdhan Shakeel

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News of a new variant of the COVID-19 virus has taken the world by storm as countries rush to take preemptive measures to curb the spread of the new variant inside their borders. The latest variant identified as SARS-CoV-2 variant: B.1.1.529 was named as Omicron by the World health Organization, later declaring it’s as a “Variant of Concern”.

The Omicron variant was first identified on 24th November 2021 in South Africa. But the earliest confirmed case of the virus was from a sample collected on 09th November 2021.

While specimens were collected and sent to the Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution to assess its mutations. According to the World Health Organization, the number of infections has steeply increased in the areas where the Omicron variant was identified.

Preliminary studies on the variant suggests that compared to the other Variants of Concern, the Omicron variant has an unusually high number of mutations, leading to an increased chance of reinfection for those who had already contracted the virus and for those who are already immunized.

So far, the variant has been identified due to the PCR tests failure to target and detect one of the three genes. So far, the variant has been identified in Israel, Hongkong, Botswana and Belgium.

While the World Health Organization has maintained that to would take a few weeks to fully understand the full impact of the virus, UK Health Officials have warned that the vaccine would “almost certainly be less effective” against the Omicron variant.

British Professor of Structural biology James Naismith stated that “It’s bad news but it’s not doomsday.”. He further stated that the mutations spotted in the variant suggests more transmissibility, the variant’s ultimate transmissibility would be determined by how ell the mutations work together.

The variant is further expected to spread as only 24% of the South African population is vaccinated against COVID-19.

While medical experts warn preemptive measures, Australia, Brazil, UK, U.S., Iran, India and Japan has taken some form of measures against the spread of the variant through partial border lockdowns or through increased screening at borders.

In the Maldives, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has announced that additional booster shots for the public would be launched in mid-December in wake of the Omicron variant. He also stated that the Technical Advisory Group will be meeting today to decide on what actions to take against the Omicron variant.

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