LINGUIST List 6.1421

Fri Oct 13 1995

FYI: European Language Resources Association (ELRA) Update

Editor for this issue: Ljuba Veselinova <>


  1. Colin Brace, European Language Resources Association (ELRA) Update

Message 1: European Language Resources Association (ELRA) Update

Date: Fri, 13 Oct 1995 16:13:54 European Language Resources Association (ELRA) Update
From: Colin Brace <>
Subject: European Language Resources Association (ELRA) Update

ELRA holds its first general meeting

The European Language Resources Association (ELRA) is now a reality. At
the end of September, the new association held its first general
membership meeting in Luxembourg. At this meeting, ELRA's sixty plus
members elected a management board and charted a course forward for the
new Association. The meeting was also an occasion for ELRA's members to
meet its new director, Dr Khalid Choukri, who officially began his
duties on the first of October.

The ELRA meeting was hosted by the European Commission, reflecting the
keen interest and support of the Commission for the field of language
resources. Under the auspices of the 4th Framework's Language
Engineering programme, the Commission will be supporting ELRA with a
grant for an initial three-year period, whereupon it is expected that
ELRA will become largely self-supporting.

As a non-profit independent entity, ELRA will serve as a much-needed
central clearinghouse for language resources in Europe. Language
resources include a wide array of materials, such as written and spoken
corpora, lexicons, grammars, and terminology databases. Such resources,
which can be extremely costly to develop, form the basic building
blocks for a broad range of applications throughout the telematics
domain. The lack of commonly available language resources for many of
Europe's languages has proven to be a major obstacle in the
exploitation of such technologies as speech recognition and
computer-aided translation.

ELRA will contribute towards the development of this urgently needed
"linguistic infrastructure" by promoting standards for language
resources, collecting and validating them, and distributing them where
possible among potential users. Of particular concern is promoting the
availability of language resources for all of Europe's languages.

One of the new Association's very first activities was the distribution
the first edition of the "European Language Resources Survey," a two
hundred page report compiled by ELRA's forerunner, the CEC-funded
RELATOR project. The ELRA survey is the first comprehensive attempt to
catalog Europe's existing language resource in field of speech, text,
and terminology and to highlight needs.

Dr Choukri, who is currently the head of the Speech Technology group at
the French firm ACSYS, comes to ELRA with a wealth of experience in the
language technology field. His initial activities will include
establishing an office for ELRA, most likely in the Paris area,
recruiting an initial support staff, and embarking upon the
distribution of language resources.

For more information about ELRA, contact:

CL International
Attn: Sarah Houston
46 Grand rue
L-1660 Luxembourg
Tel: +352 46 91 60
Fax: +352 46 91 61

ELRA is also on the Web:

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