Exactly one week ago, people from all across Europe (and beyond) got together for the Fifth ELRC Conference. More than 450 participants from a variety of sectors, including European SMEs, public services as well as representatives from research and the LT industry joined the virtual event. This set a new record and marked a huge success for ELRC, showing the increasing awareness on the importance of language data and language technology.

une Lowery-Kingston (Head of Sector “Accessibility, Multilingualism and Safer Internet”, EC) giving the welcome address
June Lowery-Kingston (Head of Sector “Accessibility, Multilingualism and Safer Internet”, EC) giving the welcome address

In her welcome address, June Lowery-Kingston, Head of the Sector “Accessibility, Multilingualism and Safer Internet” at the European Commission, highlighted that

Europe needs multilingualism, and Europe needs powerful language technologies

made in Europe for Europe.”

and in order to achieve this, language data is key. That’s why the conference put a spotlight on language data quality and reuse, illustrating both the legal and the technical requirements which frame language resources (LRs) anonymisation, validation and curation. .


ELRC Project Manager Andrea Loesch about the importance of language data

For smaller languages, the lack of available data makes it more difficult to build language technologies and train machine translation systems. This was also illustrated by Andrew Bredenkamp from Translators without Borders. He explained that the organisation is striving for “a world where knowledge knows no language barriers”. Miquel Esplà-Gomis (University of Alicante), who coordinates the new CEF project MaCoCu (Massive Collection and curation of monolingual and bilingual data) followed up on this topic, as MaCoCu focuses on under-resourced languages such as Maltese, Bulgarian, Albanian or Macedonian. In the same way, the CEF project PRINCIPLE is targeted at low-resourced languages, too: Its goal is to provide resources in Irish, Norwegian, Croatian and Icelandic for language engineering purposes.The essential role of  terminology  in translation, information retrieval and knowledge management systems was explained by Gabriele Sauberer (International Network for Terminology) and Arturs Vasilevskis (Tilde) who presented the Federated Termbank project, aiming to establish a terminology data infrastructure for the creation, management and sharing of terminology resources.

The ELRC Team would like to thank all participants and contributors for this exciting and enlightening day. To say it in the words of June Lowery-Kingston:

“Significant progress has been made in terms of collaboration and much has been achieved. Much more lies ahead!”.

Thank you!

Have you missed the event? No worries! The full recording is available on Youtube. All presentations can also be downloaded from the event page.