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5.1.7. Denmark

FLaReNet Summary

There is no national program specific to language resources and/or technology in Denmark. For a long time this type of proposal was supported through the general funding scheme of the research councils. Denmark is now working towards a roadmap for research infrastructures and activities could follow on to that roadmap, probably not with language resources specifically, but rather with Digital Humanities or the like. This will be determined by the end of 2010.

Three entities are taking care of Language in Denmark: the Danish Language Council (Danish Ministry of Culture), Nordic Language Coordination (Nordic Council of Ministers) for coordinating research, teaching and information initiatives and strengthening the mutual understanding in the Nordic countries via the three Scandinavian languages (Danish, Norwegian and Swedish), and the European Federation of National Institutions of Language (EFNIL) for promoting linguistic diversity and monitoring language development and language policy.

Nordic languages are considered within 3 categories: the State constituting languages (Danish, Finish, Icelandic, Norwegian (Bokmål and Nynorsk), Swedish), the Society constituting languages (Danish, Finish, Faroese, Greenlandic, Icelandic, Norwegian, Sámi, Swedish) and the Minority languages (Meänkieli, Kven, Romani, Yiddish, German, and the Sign languages). At present, the largest investments in LT for the Nordic countries are made in tools for Greenlandic and Sámi, but many basic resources and tools for the main Nordic languages are still lacking. There is a growing awareness of the need for LT infrastructure. Term banks and text banks are being developed for Norwegian and Swedish, financed by the state and made publicly available. Denmark is developing resources and tools in DK-CLARIN, which was awarded 2 M€ for the three year period 2008-2010 for the construction of a national research infrastructure for the humanities, focusing on material expressed in language (written, spoken) and tools to treat this material, plus the cost of infrastructure.

Several programs are on-going, such as LARM, aiming at constructing a national, digital and user-driven research infrastructure, which will provide a nationally and internationally outstanding solution for preserving and maturing cultural heritage radio source material.

Many laboratories are conducting activities in this area (Aalborg University (Multimedia Information and Signal Processing Group), Copenhagen University (Center for Sprogteknologi, Danmarks Grundforskningsfonds Center for Sociolingvistiske Sprogforandringsstudier, Institut for Nordiske Studier og Sprogvidenskab), University of Southern Denmark (Institut for Fagsprog, Kommunikation og Informationsvidenskab (IFKI)), Aarhus University (Nordisk Institut), Department of International Language Studies and Computational Linguistics of the Copenhagen Business School, The Danish Royal Library, The Danish National Museum, Det Danske Sprog- og Litteraturselskab (DSL) and Dansk Sprognævn (DSN).

Contact Point Input

National/Regional contact: Bente Maegaard, CST.
National/Regional contact Borge Lindberg, Aalborg University.

Programs

There is no national programs specifically for language resources and/or technology. For a long time it has been the fact that this type of proposal was supported through the general funding scheme of the research councils. Denmark is now working towards a roadmap for research infrastructures and activities could follow on to that roadmap, probably not with language resources specifically, but rather with Digital Humanities or the like. This will be determined by the end of the year.

In her talk « Linguistic Diversity and Language Change – Future Challenges for MT » at the Translingual Europe conference 2010, Sabine Kirchmeier-Andersen from the Danish Language Council mentioned that 3 entities are taking care of Language in Denmark:

  - The Danish Language Council (Danish Ministry of Culture) for:
      • monitoring the development of the Danish language;
      • providing the orthographic standard for schools and public institutions;
      • providing advice on language use in private and public institutions.

  - The Nordic Language Coordination (Nordic Council of Ministers) for:
      • coordinating research, teaching and information initiatives;
      • strengthening the mutual understanding in the Nordic countries via the three Scandinavian languages Danish, Norwegian and Swedish.

  - The European Federation of National Institutions of Language (EFNIL) for:
      • promoting linguistic diversity;
      • monitoring language development and language policy.

She reported on the status of the Nordic languages, by 3 categories:

  1. The State constituting languages:
      Danish, Finish, Icelandic, Norwegian (Bokmål and Nynorsk), Swedish.
  2. The Society constituting languages:
      Danish, Finish, Faroese, Greenlandic, Icelandic, Norwegian, Sámi, Swedish.
  3. The Minority languages:
      Meänkieli, Kven, Romani, Yiddish, German, and the Sign languages.

She mentioned that at present the largest investments in LT for the Nordic countries are made in tools for Greenlandic and Sámi, but many basic resources and tools for the main Nordic languages are still lacking. BLARKs (Basic Language Resources Kits) do not exist for all languages. There is a growing awareness of the need for LT infrastructure. Term banks and text banks are being developed for Norwegian and Swedish, financed by the state and made publicly available. Denmark is developing resources and tools in DK-CLARIN, for a total budget of 1.4 M€ (general language corpus + LSP corpus + cost of infrastructure).

Short list of Danish LRT Programs:

LARM - http://larm.hum.ku.dk

The objective of the LARM-project is to construct a national, digital and user-driven research infrastructure, which will provide a nationally and internationally outstanding solution for preserving and maturing cultural heritage radio source material. This will enable and stimulate future radio and audio based research and knowledge dissemination in the Humanities, as well as interface with other national and international research- and archive infrastructures.

Point of contact:
  - Bente Larsen, email: bentelar@hum.ku.dk.

Danish CLARIN - http://dkclarin.ku.dk

The Danish CLARIN consortium applied for the equivalent of four million Euros and was awarded two million for the three year period 2008-2010 for the construction of a national research infrastructure for the humanities, focusing on material expressed in language (written or spoken) and tools to treat this material. This means that Denmark is not in a preparatory phase parallel to the EU-CLARIN project, but is actually implementing a national research infrastructure.

The Danish CLARIN consortium has four universities and four cultural institutions as their members with the University of Copenhagen coordinating the consortium. The members are:
   - University of Copenhagen;
   - University of Southern Denmark;
   - University of Aarhus;
   - Copenhagen Business School;
   - Society for Danish Language and Literature;
   - Danish Language Council;
   - The Royal Library;
   - The National Museum of Denmark.

A total of 11 research groups are participating with funding, and a 12th group has joined as of January 2009 as an observer.

With these partners the consortium is very strong and to the point, as it has a good combination of the necessary skills and experience: humanities, language technology, language resources, and computer science. The consortium will collaborate with EU-CLARIN where possible, and particularly strive to learn from and adhere to standards as decided at the European level in order to pave the way for Denmark to be an active partner in the construction and exploitation phases of the European project. One of the national tasks for the Danish CLARIN consortium is to propose a strategy for the exploitation at the national level, ("CLARIN in Denmark - European and Nordic perspectives, Hanne Fersøe og Bente Maegaard. The NODALIDA-conference, 2009").

Points of contact:
   - Hanne Fersøe, University of Copenhagen, Centre for Language Technology, Copenhagen, Denmark, email: hannef@hum.ku.dk.
   - Professor Bente Maegaard, University of Copenhagen, Centre for Language Technology Copenhagen, Denmark, email: bmaegaard@hum.ku.dk.

Relevant Danish Public Sites within LRT:
   - Multimedia Information and Signal Processing Group, Department of Electronic Systems, Aalborg University, http://es.aau.dk/misp;
   - Center for Sprogteknologi, Copenhagen University, http://cst.ku.dk;
   - Danmarks Grundforskningsfonds Center for Sociolingvistiske Sprogforandringsstudier, Copenhagen University, http://dgcss.hum.ku.dk;
   - Institut for Nordiske Studier og Sprogvidenskab, Copenhagen University, http://duds.nordisk.ku.dk;
   - Institut for Fagsprog, Kommunikation og Informationsvidenskab (IFKI), University of Southern Denmark, http://www.sdu.dk/Om_SDU/Institutter_centre/Ifki.aspx?sc_lang=da;
   - Nordisk Institut, Aarhus University, http://jysk.au.dk;
   - Department of International Language Studies and Computational Linguistics, Copenhagen Business School – CBS, http://uk.cbs.dk/forskning/institutter_centre/institutter/isv/;
   - The Danish Royal Library, http://www.kb.dk/en/kb/it/dup/index.html;
   - The Danish National Museum, http://www.nationalmuseet.dk/sw20374.asp;
   - Det Danske Sprog- og Litteraturselskab - DSL, http://dsl.dk;
   - Dansk Sprognævn – DSN, http://dsn.dk.