Monday, April 25, 2016

AfLaT, TALAf, & language technology in Africa

African Language Technology (AfLaT) and Traitement automatique des langues africaines (TALAf) are associations that promote collaboration and on use of a range of advanced technologies with African languages. In some ways they serve as sister entities, one using English as its primary working language, and the other French.

Brief profiles of each will follow, but first I'd like to call attention to TALAf's current call for participation in the upcoming TALAf 2016 workshop (deadline extended to May 8). This is scheduled as part of a larger event - three co-located language and technology conferences dubbed JEP-TALN-RECITAL 2016 - to be held at INALCO in Paris on July 4-7.


AfLaT logo
AfLaT was set up in 2006 by Guy De Pauw, Gilles-Maurice de Schryver, and Peter Waiganjo Wagacha. The AfLaT website is intended to catalogue language technology research projects such as "digital corpora, dictionaries and tools for many (formerly) resource-scarce African languages" in the form of bibliographic resources, web links and tools, which have been provided by AfLaT members (registering as a member is free). It has organized a number of workshops since 2009.


TALAf began with a workshop in 2012 with Mathieu Mangeot and Chantal Enguehard among the organizers. TALAf describes itself as a community of researchers interested in natural language processing of African languages, and seeks to promote collaboration in development of tools and resources. It organizes biennial workshops, runs an email list, and is associated with other projects such as DiLAF : dictionnaires langue africaine-français (bambara, haoussa, kanouri, tamajaq, zarma).

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