(Note. An initial vision was circulated among leading experts on LT in the Nordic countries and their comments can be found below.)

In 2016, after a 10-year period of focused investments in making the Nordic Countries a Leading Region in Language Technology (LT),

  • Multilingualism is seen as a strength of the Nordic/Baltic region.

  • LT research and applications develop freely in several directions in a stimulating research and business environment.

  • Availability of necessary language resources improves the quality of LT research and application development.

  • Mono- and multilingual LT modules with uniform APIs for a wide array of languages are smooth and easy to integrate into software products and services.

  • Available LT modules give the software industry and the service providers in the Nordic/Baltic region a competitive edge in the global market place, by facilitating the process of tailoring products and services to language-specific requirements in new international markets.

Do you have additions or modifications to the vision for strengthening the Nordic Countries as a leading region for LT in 2016?

(Quotes in order of submission:)

I agree with the above. I would like to add: - LT modules will be integrated in multimedia systems (e.g. aligned with video systems for video retrieval).
-- Martin Volk

The claim that 'LT modules are smooth and easy to integrate' is too optimistic. Integration will always require a high level of competency and careful tuning to the application context.
-- Koenraad de Smedt

Nordic and Baltic languages are generally small language communities, and countries in these regions will need to be in the forefront to maintain and protect their local language existence.
-- Knut Aasrud

The vision is OK, but it presupposes a quite substantial economical effort from the governments in the countries in question.
-- Torbjørn Nordgård

I would stress the use quality of LT systems, and that citizens of the region are able to access software-mediated services in their mother tongue. I absolutely agree with statement 2.
-- Lars Ahrenberg

It is important that the less widely used languages in the region will be able to participate in this development. For that to be possible, they may need some external support since sufficient national funding for building the necessary resources may not be available.
-- Eiríkur Rögnvaldsson

Något kunde väl också sägas om det nordiska språksamarbetet och dess långa traditioner, inklusive möjligheterna till samarbete mellan språknämnder och språkteknologiföretag.
-- Mikael Reuter

I would like to make sure that multilingualism comprises the very small languages in our Nordic context, and also in principle all, but in practice a diligently chosen number of our immigrant languages. As for applications: I agree, that they should develop freely in ..a.. business environment, but let us add, that applications to the benefit of the elderly and impaired should be developed in a non-competitive environment with public support.
-- Henrik Holmboe

Public information is freely and openly available and disseminated in several languages. The public administrative bodies of the Nordic countries take their information dissemination task seriously. The language care tradition of the Nordic countries has strong support from language users. Bodies, both publicly funded, such as Kotus, Svenska akademin, Nämnden för svensk språkvård and industrially funded bodies such as TNC, with no legislative but established and accepted status on questions about language usage, have a voice in the public arena.
-- Jussi Karlgren

Focus on language awareness and multilingualism awareness in primary and secondary schools, as well as better school training in analytical and formal aspects of native and foreign languages - as a prerequisite for a strong LT base in the upcoming generation of students
-- Eckhard Bick

I think the list identifies both our current strengths and (by listing their opposites) some of our current obstacles to being in a leading position already today. Short: Our strength is the multilingualism (including typologically diverse languages), combined with a long tradition of linguistic research). Our weaknesses are the relatively small market sizes, the limited availability of common resources.
-- Trond Trosterud

'Multilingualism' as the designation is used here goes beyond 'Nordic languages' and the wider designation 'languages of the Nordic countries'. It is difficult to see how this widening of scope could possibly be to the benefit of the LT situation for the Nordic languages and other traditional languages of the Nordic countries.
-- Jan Hoel

All basic tools and resources available as open source will provide a platform for further innovation and new products.
-- Sjur Nørstebø Moshagen

Språkteknologi bidrar till ökad demokratisk delaktighet i samhället bl.a. genom att göra information tillgänglig via t.ex. 24-timmarsmyndigheten. Språkteknologi är till för alla, oavsett språk, kön, klass, etnisk tillhörighet, kognitiv och fysisk funktionsduglighet, språklig och teknisk kompetens, verksamhetsområde m.m. Språkteknologi bidrar till att stärka de nordiska/baltiska språken och den nordiska språkgemenskapen i en mångspråkig värld. Till 'multilingualism' bör inte bara de nordiska/baltiska huvudspråken räknas, utan också minoritetsspråk, teckenspråk och invandrarspråk. Det är viktigt att tänka på att utveckla resurser också för kommersiellt mindre gångbara språk som t.ex. samiska.
-- Rickard Domeij

Other factors may be decisive for software industry and service providers to become global leaders - this part of the vision should therefore focus on the actual contribution to this aim from the LT domain.
-- Tron Espeli

Permanent LT research - and LT development forums have been set up in the bigger Nordic countries in support of Nordic and Baltic languages with lesser volume in economic as well as human terms. Comment: It should be an attractive alternative to mother tongue research for Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish scholars to work with Faroese, Greenlandic, Samic, (Icelandic?) where money is scarce but humans scarcer or with Baltic, Romani, etc. where humans are scarce but money scarcer.
-- Per Langgård

After 10 years, a relevant infrastructure should have been developed for both text and speech to cover all languages in the region and dialects. The data should have been properly annotated at all levels. After 10 years, the joint efforts in the Nordic countries should have resulted in healthy industries that can support applications in all Nordic languages. This requires for example a good knowledge of spontaneous spoken interaction.
-- Rolf Carlson

The available LT modules shouldn't just have uniform APIs but be open source. The market in the Nordic countries is too small to support attempts to make business out of the resources per se (companies that aim to make a profit in the LT field would be better advised to make it from selling consultancy services and support to their products - and give the products themselves away for free to encourage usage).
-- Björn Gambäck

-- KristerLinden - 01 Jun 2006

Topic revision: r7 - 2006-06-11 - KristerLinden
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