Automatic transcription of Somali language

TitleAutomatic transcription of Somali language
Publication TypeProceedings Article
Year of Conference2006
AuthorsAbdillahi, Nimaan, Nocera Pascal, and Bonastre Jean-François
Conference NameInterspeech 2006
Conference LocationPittsburgh PA, USA

Most African countries follow an oral tradition system to transmit their cultural, scientific and historic heritage through generations. This
ancestral knowledge accumulated during centuries is today threatened of disappearing. Automatic transcription and indexing tools seem potential solution to preserve it. This paper presents the first steps of automatic speech recognition (ASR) of Djibouti languages in order to index the Djibouti cultural heritage. This work is dedicated to process Somali language, which represents half of the targeted Djiboutian audio archives. We describe the principal characteristics of audio (10 hours) and textual (3M words) training corpora collected and the first ASR results of this language. Using the specificities of the Somali language, (words are composed of a concatenation of sub-words called ``roots'' in this paper), we improve the obtained results. We also discuss future ways of research like roots indexing of audio archives.