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Third Workshop on African Language Technology (AfLaT 2011) - Report


AfLaT2011, the Third Workshop on African Language Technology, was organized as a breakout session of the AGIS11 conference (Action Week for Global Information Sharing) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It marked the first time an AfLaT workshop took place on the African continent. AfLaT2011 featured ten presentations on a variety of topics and languages.
We want to thank the presenters and participants for their contributions to the workshop, as well as the organizers of AGIS11 to allow us to collocate the AfLaT workshop with their wonderful conference.



WORKSHOP ON APPLIED LANGUAGE DOCUMENTATION IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

School of Oriental and African Studies, London
Saturday 14th May 2011

http://www.hrelp.org/events/workshops/aldsa/
__________________________________________________________________

PLENARY SPEAKERS


  • Jeff Good, University at Buffalo - "Community" collaboration in Africa: experiences from Northwest Cameroon
  • Guy De Pauw, University of Antwerp and African Language Technology (AfLaT.org) -
    Deploying the data: a state-of-affairs in African language technology

WORKSHOP THEMES & PROGRAMME

The workshop aims to provide a scholarly environment for the exchange of ideas about the application of language documentation within the contextual setting of Africa in order to arrive at an understanding of how site-specific applications of language documentation can benefit language communities. As such, it aims to provide recommendations about technological choices and the structure and implementation of corpora, in order to increase the impact of documentation projects.

All speakers have been asked to include practical recommendations for applied Language Documentation in sub-Saharan Africa as part of their talk. These recommendations will form the basis for a panel discussion at the end of the workshop.

The programme for the workshop is available from the meeting website: http://www.hrelp.org/events/workshops/aldsa

REGISTRATION & STUDENT BURSARIES

Online registration is now open. The registration fee of £10.00 includes lunch, tea and coffee, and a conference pack.

We are pleased to announce that we are able to offer 15 students bursaries which cover the registration fee for students who wish to attend the workshop. Student presenters attending the conference are also eligible to apply for a bursary to cover the conference fee.

To apply for a bursary, please fill in the bursary application form on the workshop website by the deadline of Monday 4th April 2011.

Bursary applicants will be asked to provide a brief justification for why they should receive a bursary in case the number of applications exceeds the number of available places. Applicants will be informed if they have been awarded a bursary shortly after the bursary deadline has passed.

Second Workshop on African Language Technology (AfLaT 2010) - Report


Invited Talk: Do we need linguistic knowledge for speech technology applications in African languages?

Justus Roux

AfLaT 2010 submission now closed

We are happy to report that we received over 20 papers for the AfLaT 2010 workshop. We thank all of the authors and wish them best of luck during the reviewing process.

We look forward to seeing you in Malta!

AfLaT 2010 - FINAL CALL FOR PAPERS

SECOND WORKSHOP ON AFRICAN LANGUAGE TECHNOLOGY
AfLaT 2010

18 MAY 2010, VALLETTA, MALTA

Workshop at the seventh international conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC) 2010

ABOUT THE WORKSHOP

In multilingual situations, language technologies are crucial for providing access to information and opportunities for economic development. With somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 different languages, Africa is a multilingual continent par excellence and presents acute challenges for those seeking to promote and use African languages in the areas of business development, education, research, and relief aid. In recent times a number of African researchers and institutions have come forward that share the common goal of developing capabilities in language technologies. This workshop provides a forum to meet and share the latest developments in this field. It also seeks to include linguists who specialize in African languages and would like to leverage the tools and approaches of computational linguistics, as well as computational linguists who are interested in learning about the particular linguistic challenges posed by African languages.

The workshop will consist of an invited talk, followed by refereed research papers in computational linguistics. The focus will be on sub-Saharan African languages, excluding Arabic and languages with European origins, such as Afrikaans and African variants of English and French. We invite submissions on any topic related to language and speech technology and African languages including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Corpora and corpus annotation
  • Machine readable lexicons
  • Morphological analyzers and spelling checkers
  • Part of speech taggers and parsers
  • Speech recognition and synthesis
  • Applications such as machine translation, information extraction, information retrieval, computer-assisted language learning and question answering
  • The role of language technologies in economic development, education, healthcare, and emergency and public services
  • Documentation of endangered languages and the use of language technologies to enhance language vitality
  • The combination of language and speech technology with mobile phone technology.

OBJECTIVES OF THE WORKSHOP

  • Assess the state-of-the-art in the development of BLARKs for sub-Saharan African languages
  • Address issues of efficient and sufficient collection and annotation of spoken and written language samples
  • Define particular issues in machine translation, speech recognition, and other language technology applications
  • Discuss community needs in education and vitality of language and culture, such as localization of operating systems and applications, spelling checkers, dictionaries, computer assisted language learning and the like
  • Assess the role of language technology in bridging the digital divide, particularly in light of rapidly emerging technologies, such as mobile phones
  • Strengthen the network of researchers working in the domain of African Language Technology

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

Authors are invited to submit original work in the topic area of this workshop. Submissions should be formatted using the LREC style sheet and should not exceed four (4) pages, including references.

The reviewing will be blind and the paper should therefore not include the authors' names and affiliations. Submission will be electronic. Papers must be submitted no later than 15 February, 2010 using the submission webpage: https://www.softconf.com/lrec2010/AfLaT2010.

When submitting a paper from the START page, authors will be asked to provide essential information about resources (in a broad sense, i.e. also technologies, standards, evaluation kits, etc.) that have been used for the work described in the paper or are a new result of your research. For further information on this new initiative, please refer to http://www.lrec-conf.org/lrec2010/?LREC2010-Map-of-Language-Resources.

Submissions will be reviewed by 3 members of the Program Committee. Authors of accepted papers will receive guidelines on how to produce camera-ready versions of their papers for inclusion in the LREC workshop proceedings. Notification of receipt will be emailed to the contact author.

IMPORTANT DATES

Submission deadline: 19 February, 2010 (extended!)
Notification of acceptance: 12 March, 2010
Camera-ready papers due: 22 March, 2010
Workshop: 18 May 2010

ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

  • Guy De Pauw (Workshop Chair - Contact Person)
    (1) CLiPS Research Group, University of Antwerp, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
    (2) School of Computing and Informatics, University of Nairobi, PO Box 30197 - 00100GPO
    Nairobi, Kenya
    http://aflat.org/guy

  • Handré Groenewald
    Centre for Text Technology (CTexT), North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus), Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa
    http://www.nwu.ac.za/ctext

  • Gilles-Maurice de Schryver
    (1) African Languages and Cultures, Ghent University, Rozier 44, 9000 Gent, Belgium
    (2) Xhosa Department, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, Republic of South Africa
    (3) TshwaneDJe HLT, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa
    http://tshwanedje.com/members/gmds/cv.html

  • Peter Waiganjo Wagacha
    School of Computing and Informatics, University of Nairobi, PO Box 30197 - 00100GPO Nairobi, Kenya
    http://www.uonbi.ac.ke/faculties/staff-profile.php?id=168090&name=waiganjo&fac code=52

INVITED SPEAKER

Justus Roux: "Do we need linguistic knowledge for speech technology applications in African languages?"

PROGRAM COMMITTEE


Tunde Adegbola - African Languages Technlogy Initiative (Alt-i), Nigeria
Tadesse Anberbir - Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
Winston Anderson - University of South Africa, South Africa
Lars Asker - Stockholm University, Sweden
Etienne Barnard - Meraka Institute, South Africa
Piotr Bański - University of Warsaw, Poland
Ansu Berg - North-West University, South Africa
Sonja Bosch - University of South Africa, South Africa
Chantal Enguehard - LINA - UMR CNRS, France
Gertrud Faaß - Universität Stuttgart, Germany
Bjorn Gamback - Swedish Institute of Computer Science, Sweden
Katherine Getao - NEPAD e-Africa Commission, South Africa
Dafydd Gibbon - Universität Bielefeld, Germany
Arvi Hurskainen - University of Helsinki, Finland
Fred Kitoogo - Makerere University, Uganda
Roser Morante - University of Antwerp, Belgium
Lawrence Muchemi - University of Nairobi, Kenya
Wanjiku Ng'ang'a - University of Nairobi, Kenya
Odetunji Odejobi - University College Cork, Ireland
Chinyere Ohiri-Anichie - University of Lagos, Nigeria
Sulene Pilon - North-West University, South Africa
Laurette Pretorius - University of South Africa, South Africa
Rigardt Pretorius - North-West University, South Africa
Danie Prinsloo - University of Pretoria, South Africa
Justus Roux - North-West University, South Africa
Kevin Scannell - Saint Louis University, United States
Gerhard Van Huyssteen - Meraka Institute, South Africa

African HLT Society

Description: 

African HLT Society

AfLaT 2010 - FIRST CALL FOR PAPERS

SECOND WORKSHOP ON AFRICAN LANGUAGE TECHNOLOGY
AfLaT 2010

18 MAY 2010, VALLETTA, MALTA

Workshop at the seventh international conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC) 2010

ABOUT THE WORKSHOP

In multilingual situations, language technologies are crucial for providing access to information and opportunities for economic development. With somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 different languages, Africa is a multilingual continent par excellence and presents acute challenges for those seeking to promote and use African languages in the areas of business development, education, research, and relief aid. In recent times a number of African researchers and institutions have come forward that share the common goal of developing capabilities in language technologies. This workshop provides a forum to meet and share the latest developments in this field. It also seeks to include linguists who specialize in African languages and would like to leverage the tools and approaches of computational linguistics, as well as computational linguists who are interested in learning about the particular linguistic challenges posed by African languages.

The workshop will consist of an invited talk, followed by refereed research papers in computational linguistics. The focus will be on sub-Saharan African languages, excluding Arabic and languages with European origins, such as Afrikaans and African variants of English and French. We invite submissions on any topic related to language and speech technology and African languages including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Corpora and corpus annotation
  • Machine readable lexicons
  • Morphological analyzers and spelling checkers
  • Part of speech taggers and parsers
  • Speech recognition and synthesis
  • Applications such as machine translation, information extraction, information retrieval, computer-assisted language learning and question answering
  • The role of language technologies in economic development, education, healthcare, and emergency and public services
  • Documentation of endangered languages and the use of language technologies to enhance language vitality
  • The combination of language and speech technology with mobile phone technology.

OBJECTIVES OF THE WORKSHOP

  • Assess the state-of-the-art in the development of BLARKs for sub-Saharan African languages
  • Address issues of efficient and sufficient collection and annotation of spoken and written language samples
  • Define particular issues in machine translation, speech recognition, and other language technology applications
  • Discuss community needs in education and vitality of language and culture, such as localization of operating systems and applications, spelling checkers, dictionaries, computer assisted language learning and the like
  • Assess the role of language technology in bridging the digital divide, particularly in light of rapidly emerging technologies, such as mobile phones
  • Strengthen the network of researchers working in the domain of African Language Technology

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

Authors are invited to submit original work in the topic area of this workshop. Submissions should be formatted using the LREC style sheet (to be announced later on the Conference web site) and should not exceed four (4) pages, including references.

The reviewing will be blind and the paper should therefore not include the authors' names and affiliations. Submission will be electronic. Papers must be submitted no later than 15 February, 2010 using the submission webpage: https://www.softconf.com/lrec2010/AfLaT2010.

When submitting a paper from the START page, authors will be asked to provide essential information about resources (in a broad sense, i.e. also technologies, standards, evaluation kits, etc.) that have been used for the work described in the paper or are a new result of your research. For further information on this new initiative, please refer to http://www.lrec-conf.org/lrec2010/?LREC2010-Map-of-Language-Resources.

Submissions will be reviewed by 3 members of the Program Committee. Authors of accepted papers will receive guidelines on how to produce camera-ready versions of their papers for inclusion in the LREC workshop proceedings. Notification of receipt will be emailed to the contact author.

IMPORTANT DATES

Submission deadline: 15 February, 2010
Notification of acceptance: 12 March, 2010
Camera-ready papers due: 22 March, 2010
Workshop: 18 May 2010

ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

  • Guy De Pauw (Workshop Chair - Contact Person)
    (1) CLiPS Research Group, University of Antwerp, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
    (2) School of Computing and Informatics, University of Nairobi, PO Box 30197 - 00100GPO
    Nairobi, Kenya
    http://aflat.org/guy

  • Handré Groenewald
    Centre for Text Technology (CTexT), North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus), Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa
    http://www.nwu.ac.za/ctext

  • Gilles-Maurice de Schryver
    (1) African Languages and Cultures, Ghent University, Rozier 44, 9000 Gent, Belgium
    (2) Xhosa Department, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, Republic of South Africa
    (3) TshwaneDJe HLT, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa
    http://tshwanedje.com/members/gmds/cv.html

  • Peter Waiganjo Wagacha
    School of Computing and Informatics, University of Nairobi, PO Box 30197 - 00100GPO Nairobi, Kenya
    http://www.uonbi.ac.ke/faculties/staff-profile.php?id=168090&name=waiganjo&fac code=52

PROGRAM COMMITTEE

to be announced

INVITED SPEAKER

to be announced

Funding opportunity: MURI Call for White Papers

Funding opportunity: MURI Call for White Papers, DUE Dec 11

BROAD AGENCY ANNOUNCEMENT (BAA)

Call for White Papers

DEADLINE: Dec. 11, 2009

Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI)

topic # 25: "Structured Modeling for Low-Density Languages"

Abibitumi Kasa: Afrikan (African) Language + Liberation Institutes




Abibitumi Kasa Classes | Abibitumi Kasa : An Afrikan Language Institute


Abibitumi Kasa Logo

http://www.abibitumikasa.com/register.html

Learn Conversational Akan (Twi), Yoruba or Wolof Online In One Month! Classes Ongoing!

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http://www.abibitumikasa.com/classes.html
http://www.abibitumikasa.com/register.html

What: You are invited to join one month (8 class) sessions of Conversational Twi, Yoruba or Wolof

Who: All Afrikan people who are serious about being Afrikan

When: Next class session begins the week of September 14th, 2009. Classes ongoing, beginning every month! (Click here for schedule http://www.abibitumikasa.com/forums/calendar.php)

Monday AND Wednesday Conversational Twi 7:00PM-9:00PM Eastern

Tuesday AND Thursday Conversational Yoruba 7:00PM-9:00PM Eastern

AND

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Where: http://www.abibitumikasa.com/forums/chat/flashchat.php

How: To access the online member classroom, you must register for the Abibitumi Kasa site at http://www.abibitumikasa.com/forums/register.php

You'll need to do this if you don't have an account already.

If you already have an account at the site, login at this link: http://www.abibitumikasa.com/forums/login.php

From there click on the link to member classroom on any page at the site at class time or visit the link to the member classroom here directly at http://www.abibitumikasa.com/forums/chat/flashchat.php

Learn to hook up your audio and/or webcam for class and more at: http://www.abibitumikasa.com/forums/video-tutorials-how-abibitumi-kasa/

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Why: Repatriation, Visit, Interacting with Family, and more. Let us know your reason for wanting to learn Afrikan languages via our Prospective Student Questionnaire http://www.abibitumikasa.com/nsemmisa.pdf

Four Simple Steps to SUCCESSFUL registration for class:

Have you registered for the class: http://www.abibitumikasa.com/register.html

Have you submitted payment for the class: http://www.abibitumikasa.com/payment.html

Have you registered and logged into the forums: http://www.abibitumikasa.com/forums/register.php

Have you clicked on member classroom (where the classes are held): http://www.abibitumikasa.com/forums/chat/flashchat.php

View Class Requirements:
http://www.abibitumikasa.com/forums/faq.php?faq=onlineclasses

Our other classes include:
(Click the class name for details)

Mwalimu Baruti Eureason Course Online

Mwalimu Baruti Afrikan Centered Sociology Course Online

Akinjide Bonotchi Mongomery's Introduction Medew Netcher Course Online

Professor Griff: Psychological Covert War on Hip-Hop Course Online

Akhu Yaw Kamau: Afrikan Mathematics Course Online

Ogechi Amadi's Holistic Child Development Course Online

Dr Runoko Rashidi: Around the World with Runoko Rashidi (Begins again winter 2009)

Ras Ariel: Repatriation Course 101

Baba Balogun Abeegunde: Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within

Dr. Kamau Kambon: Seminar: Food Health and You: Why Afrikans Die So Young Course Online (TBA)

Zhiizhii Prince: Kiswahili I Course Online (TBA)

Kentake Mut Merimut: AkokO Nan: Protection and Guardianship of Our Afrikan Children in the Age of WAR Course Online (TBA)

Keidi Obi Awadu: The Great AIDS Hoax Course Online (TBA)

Dr. Hassimi Oumarou Maiga: Songhoy I (Offered based on interest)

 

 

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ANLoc | The African Network for Localization

Description: 

ICT is necessarily adapted to human languages in order to enable its use by non-specialists. For historic and economic reasons, however, certain languages dominate in this role, regardless of where ICT is used. So, when technology is used where the language and culture are different, it will exert an unintentional influence on the latter that could be negative. Localisation – the adaptation of ICT to the language and culture where it is used – allows that cultural pressure to be reduced, eliminated or even reversed.

By addressing the issue of localisation this network and its sub-projects aim to address these dimensions to indeed turn ICTs into a positive force for all of the above dimensions.

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