ELRC presented at NEC TM Dissemination Day and META-Forum 2019

2019-10-16

This autumn, the ELRC initiative and some preliminary results about the ELRC Country Profiles were presented to the public administration in Croatia and the Language Technology community at the META-Forum.

ELRC, the language resource collection initiative of the European Commission has been evaluating the language data creation and sharing landscape in all European countries in the past years addressing questions such as: How do public administrations meet their translation needs? Do they translate in-house or do they outsource the bulk of their translations? Do they have a data management plan and if yes, how do public administrations manage language data on the national level? What are the main challenges for sharing language data with the national open data portal and the European Commission and what could be done to make language data sharing in the future easier?

These questions have been discussed with the National Anchor Points at various events and result in Country Profiles for each country. Some results of the Croatian Country Profile were presented to the Croatian public administration on 23 September at the House of Europe in Zagreb by Lilli Smal (DFKI) during the NEC TM dissemination day. More information on NEC TM can be found here: https://www.nec-tm.eu

At the META-Forum 2019 that took place in Brussels, one of the main themes was the discussion around the “Report on Language Equality in the Digital Age” by Jill Evans (MEP). Its value was acknowledged with the META prize that was awarded to Jill Evans for her continuous work and support of language equality.

In order to develop language technologies for all languages, large amounts of language data are needed as currently most applications of LT such as machine translation are data-driven applications of artificial intelligence. At the core of ELRC is the collection of such data. ELRC aims at identifying language data as well as challenges that hinder the data collection, and finding ways of overcoming current challenges in the future – to support language equality in Europe which is one of the key pillars for a truly integrated European Union and Digital Single Market. The work on the above-mentioned country profiles are one way of including the public services in this very process. The key questions and some results were exemplified in a presentation by Lilli Smal (DFKI) showcasing the Norwegian example and its progress over the past few years. Norway, one of two countries that are not part of the European Union but take part in the Connecting Europe Facility Programme cannot take advantage of translations produced by the Directorate-General for Translation (DGT) as DGT does not translate into or from Norwegian. Yet the National Library of Norway and the National Language Council of Norway take active part in the European Language Resource Coordination and not only proactively collect language data and create language resources, they also discuss ideas of how the collection of language data can be automatized in public services.

The results of the country profiles for all participating countries will be published in a dedicated white paper that will be presented at the Fourth ELRC Conference in Helsinki in November, 2019.  Further information about ELRC and the ELRC Conference is available here: http://lr-coordination.eu/4thelrc