Project / Organisation

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Special Interest Group: Language & Speech Technology Development

  • Background

The Special Interest Group for Language and Speech Technology Development was founded in July 1999 after a pre-conference tutorial on African Language Engineering in the next Millennium. This tutorial which was partially sponsored by PanSALB, preceded the 10th Biennial International Conference of the African Language Association of Southern Africa (ALASA).

  • Aims
  1. To introduce linguists working in the African languages to the challenges in the fast developing field of HLT;
  2. To act as catalyst for the development of language and speech technology in South Africa;
  3. To facilitate short term capacity building by identifying interested individuals and expertise in this field with a view to organising informal training sessions in HLT at different venues across the country;
  4. To facilitate long term capacity building through research into the restructuring of curricula at tertiary levels.

SU-ClaST (Centre for Language and Speech Technology at the University of Stellenbosch)


SU-CLaST is a new interdisciplinary research centre of the Faculties of Arts and Engineering at the University of Stellenbosch (US), South Africa. It is the result of active collaboration in the field of language and speech processing over a period of more than twenty years between the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and the Department of African Languages at the University of Stellenbosch.

The eXe-Files Team


The eXe-Files Team is based in the Xhosa Department of the University of the Western Cape (UWC), in Bellville (Cape Town), South Africa. The aim of this research group is to build the very first balanced electronic corpus for the Xhosa language, with which to support a plethora of linguistics and language studies and products.

AfLaT users:

Description: is a project involved in localizing open source software in all of the 11 official South African languages.

PanAfrican Localisation Project (PAL)


The PanAfrican Localisation Project is financed by IDRC and facilitated by Kabissa. It has 3 parts:

  1. the background paper;
  2. a workshop of experts in localization from around the continent to be held in Casablanca, Morocco on June 13-15, 2005; and
  3. a web-based resource site that will provide information necessary to software localisers and African language content developers, lists for communication among localisers continentwide, and other interactive pages.

Web Resources for African Languages


The main purpose of this site is to offer easy access to online materials that deal with African languages and linguistics. Particular emphasis is put on materials that contain descriptive/structural data, though not exclusively so. In short, this site collects links to other sites hosting free stuff, be they downloadable files (of any format), web-readable texts, searchable databases, or whatever.

African Language Research Project


Information on the Machine Translation project by the African Language Research Project.

A12N gateway


Links to fonts, resources, encoding tools, ... for African languages. Provided by the Bisharat project.



Bisharat* is an evolving idea based on the importance of maternal languages in sustainable development and the enormous potential of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) to benefit efforts in the area of language and development. Anticipating the gradual introduction of computers and the internet to rural communities in Africa, the current focus of Bisharat is on research, advocacy, and networking relating to use of African languages in software and web content.

The African Languages Technology Initiative (Alt-I)


The African Languages Technology Initiative (Alt-I) was set up to facilitate development of the necessary resources that will enable the engagement of information communication technologies (ICT) in African Languages. The overall aim is to appropriate various aspects of human language technology (HLT) such as speech synthesis, speech recognition, natural language understanding, machine translation and many others for human-human and human-machine communication in African languages for the unfolding information society.

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