Solomon Afnafu


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Large Vocabulary Read Speech Corpora for Four Ethiopian Languages: Amharic, Tigrigna, Oromo and Wolaytta
Solomon Teferra Abate | Martha Yifiru Tachbelie | Michael Melese | Hafte Abera | Tewodros Abebe | Wondwossen Mulugeta | Yaregal Assabie | Million Meshesha | Solomon Afnafu | Binyam Ephrem Seyoum
Proceedings of the 12th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) is one of the most important technologies to support spoken communication in modern life. However, its development benefits from large speech corpus. The development of such a corpus is expensive and most of the human languages, including the Ethiopian languages, do not have such resources. To address this problem, we have developed four large (about 22 hours) speech corpora for four Ethiopian languages: Amharic, Tigrigna, Oromo and Wolaytta. To assess usability of the corpora for (the purpose of) speech processing, we have developed ASR systems for each language. In this paper, we present the corpora and the baseline ASR systems we have developed. We have achieved word error rates (WERs) of 37.65%, 31.03%, 38.02%, 33.89% for Amharic, Tigrigna, Oromo and Wolaytta, respectively. This results show that the corpora are suitable for further investigation towards the development of ASR systems. Thus, the research community can use the corpora to further improve speech processing systems. From our results, it is clear that the collection of text corpora to train strong language models for all of the languages is still required, especially for Oromo and Wolaytta.