Carme Armentano-Oller


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Becoming a High-Resource Language in Speech: The Catalan Case in the Common Voice Corpus
Carme Armentano-Oller | Montserrat Marimon | Marta Villegas
Proceedings of the 2024 Joint International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC-COLING 2024)

Collecting voice resources for speech recognition systems is a multifaceted challenge, involving legal, technical, and diversity considerations. However, it is crucial to ensure fair access to voice-driven technology across diverse linguistic backgrounds. We describe an ongoing effort to create an extensive, high-quality, publicly available voice dataset for future development of speech technologies in Catalan through the Mozilla Common Voice crowd-sourcing platform. We detail the specific approaches used to address the challenges faced in recruiting contributors and managing the collection, validation, and recording of sentences. This detailed overview can serve as a source of guidance for similar initiatives across other projects and linguistic contexts. The success of this project is evident in the latest corpus release, version 16.1, where Catalan ranks as the most prominent language in the corpus, both in terms of recorded hours and when considering validated hours. This establishes Catalan as a language with significant speech resources for language technology development and significantly raises its international visibility.

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Building a Data Infrastructure for a Mid-Resource Language: The Case of Catalan
Aitor Gonzalez-Agirre | Montserrat Marimon | Carlos Rodriguez-Penagos | Javier Aula-Blasco | Irene Baucells | Carme Armentano-Oller | Jorge Palomar-Giner | Baybars Kulebi | Marta Villegas
Proceedings of the 2024 Joint International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC-COLING 2024)

Current LLM-based applications are becoming steadily available for everyone with a reliable access to technology and the internet. These applications offer benefits to their users that leave those without access to them at a serious disadvantage. Given the vastly large amount of data needed to train LLMs, the gap between languages with access to such quantity of data and those without it is currently larger than ever. Aimed at saving this gap, the Aina Project was created to provide Catalan with the necessary resources to keep being relevant in the context of AI/NLP applications based on LLMs. We thus present a set of strategies to consider when improving technology support for a mid- or low-resource language, specially addressing sustainability of high-quality data acquisition and the challenges involved in the process. We also introduce a large amount of new annotated data for Catalan. Our hope is that those interested in replicating this work for another language can learn from what worked for us, the challenges that we faced, and the sometimes disheartening truth of working with mid- and low-resource languages.


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ParlamentParla: A Speech Corpus of Catalan Parliamentary Sessions
Baybars Kulebi | Carme Armentano-Oller | Carlos Rodriguez-Penagos | Marta Villegas
Proceedings of the Workshop ParlaCLARIN III within the 13th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Recently, various end-to-end architectures of Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) are being showcased as an important step towards providing language technologies to all languages instead of a select few such as English. However many languages are still suffering due to the “digital gap,” lacking thousands of hours of transcribed speech data openly accessible that is necessary to train modern ASR architectures. Although Catalan already has access to various open speech corpora, these corpora lack diversity and are limited in total volume. In order to address this lack of resources for Catalan language, in this work we present ParlamentParla, a corpus of more than 600 hours of speech from Catalan Parliament sessions. This corpus has already been used in training of state-of-the-art ASR systems, and proof-of-concept text-to-speech (TTS) models. In this work we explain in detail the pipeline that allows the information publicly available on the parliamentary website to be converted to a speech corpus compatible with training of ASR and possibly TTS models.


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Are Multilingual Models the Best Choice for Moderately Under-resourced Languages? A Comprehensive Assessment for Catalan
Jordi Armengol-Estapé | Casimiro Pio Carrino | Carlos Rodriguez-Penagos | Ona de Gibert Bonet | Carme Armentano-Oller | Aitor Gonzalez-Agirre | Maite Melero | Marta Villegas
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021


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An Open-Source Shallow-Transfer Machine Translation Toolbox: Consequences of Its Release and Availability
Carme Armentano-Oller | Antonio M. Corbí-Bellot | Mikel L. Forcada | Mireia Ginestí-Rosell | Boyan Bonev | Sergio Ortiz-Rojas | Juan Antonio Pérez-Ortiz | Gema Ramírez-Sánchez | Felipe Sánchez-Martínez
Workshop on open-source machine translation

By the time Machine Translation Summit X is held in September 2005, our group will have released an open-source machine translation toolbox as part of a large government-funded project involving four universities and three linguistic technology companies from Spain. The machine translation toolbox, which will most likely be released under a GPL-like license includes (a) the open-source engine itself, a modular shallow-transfer machine translation engine suitable for related languages and largely based upon that of systems we have already developed, such as interNOSTRUM for Spanish—Catalan and Traductor Universia for Spanish—Portuguese, (b) extensive documentation (including document type declarations) specifying the XML format of all linguistic (dictionaries, rules) and document format management files, (c) compilers converting these data into the high-speed (tens of thousands of words a second) format used by the engine, and (d) pilot linguistic data for Spanish—Catalan and Spanish—Galician and format management specifications for the HTML, RTF and plain text formats. After describing very briefly this toolbox, this paper aims at exploring possible consequences of the availability of this architecture, including the community-driven development of machine translation systems for languages lacking this kind of linguistic technology.