Dr Teresa Lynn and Jane Dunne from the ADAPT Centre recently attended the 4th Annual European Language Resource Coordination (ELRC) Conference in Helsinki. The ELRC’s goal is to support the collection of language data (e.g. bilingual documents) in order to improve the European Commission’s eTranslation system for all official EU languages. This year’s event focused on “shaping Europe’s multilingual future through the sharing of language data” and provided a forum for representatives from across the 28 member states (plus Iceland and Norway) to analyse and discuss the challenges involved in gathering data in their own jurisdictions.
The conference coincided with the launch of the ELRC White Paper entitled “Why Language Data Matters”. This document was produced as a result of the shared knowledge and experience provided by each country’s National Anchor Points (NAP) and the ELRC Consortium since 2015 and presents clear recommendations for how to improve translation language data collection at National/European and organisational/institutional levels.
Dr Lynn, as Ireland’s Technical NAP, joined a panel that included Sabine Kirchmeier of the Danish Language Council and Merit-Ene Ilja of the Directorate General of Translation, amongst others, to outline the current state of play with regards to sharing language data in the Irish context. She also highlighted the challenges regarding the lack of awareness of the value of language data in Ireland, along with the lack of focus on technical training for both translators and machine translation specialists with Irish language skills.
The ADAPT Centre’s representation at the event follows the continued relationship between the ELRC and ADAPT over the past number of years and reinforces the ADAPT Centre’s position as a key player in the role of Irish language technology development in Ireland.
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