Language Technology at UiT The Arctic University of Norway

The Divvun and Giellatekno teams build language technology aimed at minority and indigenous languages

View GiellaLT on GitHub divvungiellatekno/

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Meeting setup


Cf. one of the following, depending on context:

Opening, agenda review, participants

Updated task status since last meeting









Trond has done a lot of translations to Swedish. Needs to be checked, and is not complete.


Corpus gathering

National Library: there is a meeting September 23, to which Trond and Sjur are going. Trond will request a couple of Sámi OCR-ed texts (together with the nob texts we already have), and use them as test cases for spell-checking and (automatically) correcting the OCR-ed texts.

What we need now is free North Sami - Norwegian parallel text, because of Autshumato.


Promoting Divvun


Future plans, directions and ideas

See a separate document in plan/strat/5year.jspwiki.

Northern areas project

First major obstacle: make working keyboards and fonts. In principle, there are two approaches to keyboards:

  1. Make the Russian-based keyboards work
  2. Design new Kildin-optimized keyboards

The first goal has priority. We should have text analysis in order to consider whether the second goal is feasible. Trond to follow up test machines.

Write trustworthy and detailed documentation (in Russian)

What we know:



Out of the box experiences:

Updated corpus online

See Ciprian´s document about the corpus content in $GTPRIV/plan/corpus/oslo_corpus_update_todo.txt.


facta$ --nolog --corpdir=/usr/local/share/corp L1allOrt.correct.txt

Error message:

sh: /home/sjur/gtmain/gt/script/text_cat: No such file or directory
L1allOrt.correct.txt: ERROR errors in /home/sjur/gtmain/gt/script/text_cat -q \
   -x -d /home/sjur/gtmain/gt/script/LM "/usr/local/share/corp/tmp/L1allOrt.correct.txt.tmp0":

text_cat isn’t part of our repository, we need to add it - we are using a modified version of the original file. It should be added with a short README and some license info, pointing to the original.


Corpus infra remake


Corpus interface

This depends on the infrastructure cleanup.


Makefile + tag simplification

First part done. All linguists need to test the new transducer, to see that we get what we want. Most important: that the descriptive / normative border is as it used to be. Tomi has been testing norm/desc fst’s with xfst minus operator. Now we also need to compare actual output from the two fst’s with before and after versions.


HFST compilation

Our HFST transducers do still contain all the extra tags resulting from the tag conversion (cf above). The Apertium versions do not, however. The main problem here is the forking of smi transducer builing and maintenance - one branch in Giellatekno, and another in Apertium. This is not good for future maintenance, and should be corrected ASAP. The tag-removing make steps should be incorporated in the giellatekno svn.

General list

To accommodate future enhancements in different directions (in rough order of importance):

  1. test bench for all parts of our language technology efforts
    1. test bench enhanced, but not yet complete
  2. improve Forrest i18n support with static sites
  3. reorganise the documentation:
    1. differ between target groups
    2. get better grouping
    3. decide what to write in Forrest and what in wiki (cf. Apertium and []) for a similar split)
    4. update/add missing parts
  4. migrate lexc lexicons to XML, splitting the task
    1. Name lexica (the Name project)
    2. Dictionaries (already in XML, task is to integrate them)
    3. At least migrate the lexc open POSes (Komi as a pilot case)
  5. change the look of the documentation web
  6. corpus content moved to Max Planck repositories? Norsk språkbank?
  7. update infrastructure to allow content-restricted spellers for special target groups



North Sámi

There are a lot of hyphens found in noun paradigms. They should not be there. Trond and Thomas will look into them.


Lule Sámi


South Sámi

We shall first convert the loanwords in the existing lexicon, before considering adding more loanwords.


Name lexicon/ infrastructure

Most of the items that used to be listed here are now moved to the new risten2 project, scheduled for next year.



Ciprian has made a new online/offline dictionary interface based on Apertium tools. See [].

WeDict dictionary client for iOS (uses stardict dictionary files): []

iPod/iPhone has (almost) no problem with Unicode text input (but users HAVE to know how to use unicode as input) There are two letters missing, ŧ, ŋ, the other ones are there. You may use Serbo-Croat, or QUERTY, when writing North Sami on iPod.

There is one possible issue: []

StarDict is useless for Cyrillic languages, mainly because of the scanning function (ie point and look-up). We need to find an alternative to StarDict. Also, the Kildin Sámi users have different needs than we have had in mind. And they don’t have access to a Kildin Sámi keyboard in Windows.


Other things dictionary-related:


Proofing tools

Spelling feedback from Malta:

South Sámi


HFST- and Voikko-based proofing tools


Speller bugs

List of bugs returned from Polderland:

Tag reordering for abbreviations have caused a lot of problems:

hr.	hr+ABBR+Acc
cand.philol.	cand.philol+ABBR+N+Acc
Per	Per+N+Prop+Mal+Sg+Attr

hr.	hr+N+ABBR+Acc
Per	Per+N+Prop+Mal+Sg+Attr

Open issues based on test results:


Version: Davvisámi, version 1.2, 2009-09-18


Version: Julevsáme, version 1.2, 2009-09-20


Hyphenator bugs

Open issues based on test results :


Lexicon version: Davvisámi, version 1.2, 2009-09-18

No known issues!


Lexicon version: Julevsáme, version 1.2, 2009-09-20


Command to test the hyphenator:

preprocess dev/corp/pressemelding.txt | lookup bin/hyph-sma.fst | cut -f2 | \
lookup bin/hyphrules-sma.fst | grep -v '^$' | cut -f2 | uniq | see


Installer changes


User documentation


1.2 release


2.0 release


Nordplus Språk proofing test bench project

Arno Teigseth is hired for the summer. He is sitting in Equador, 7 hours after Norway. He is working with a quechua speller (using hunspell) and dictionary.

A goal is to use texts from parallel domains, in order to be able to compare nob and sme. We start out with 100000 words, 5000 for each genre:

  1. Discussion fora on the net
  2. Blogs

Discussion fora can be problematic, as they contain a lot of very oral language with deliberate oral or dialectal forms used in the text. As such, the texts won’t be typical for the kind of texts people would like to spell-check, and thus the genre is problematic for the purpose at hand.

Possible other genres:

  1. Minutes from local associations
  2. Pupil texts - look for the home pages of the schools
  3. exam texts by 10th grade pupils, where the pupils have published the texts themselves
  4. skrivebua - Nordland fylkeskommune: all three Sámi languages

Text to speech

There will be regular meetings in this project from now on, every second week.


Machine Translation


Kevin and Ryan have now closed the work on smenob and finsme. They will continue, but mainly do other things. As for smesmj, the possible student input is rescheduled for October.

We hope to have a student working one month on smesmj this summer. The world now knows (vaguely) that we work on MT, so we should do, as well. We also need to work together with the external ones.

All languages



Technical problems with compunds in Finnish: each part in the compound is separated by a space character (+Ux20), which is creating problems in the transfer.



Needed: Lexicon completion. Grammatical transfer rules


New worker underway.


Infrastructure in place, to demo in Trondheim to encourage more work and projects.


Ciprian has made a translation memory based on our parallel corpus. The test looks promising, he has identified certain issues. We need to be clear about the license of the original parallel texts, and we need to know the original language (ie translation direction).


SMA seminar in August/September followup



Start to make yearly reports

Directory in svn in place, now we only need to fill it with content…

Thursday inhouse seminar

Topic for this week: hfst + spelling + ocr (Sjur, perhaps Lene)

Next time suggestion list:

  1. introduction to xslt - Ciprian to start out
    1. relevant xslt issues:
    2. basic principles of xslt …
    3. sorting in xslt … (have a look at the dictionary sort xslt script)
    4. converting from one xml format to another wilt xslt (sugg: convert from DivvunGT dictionary dtd to MacDict xml)

Future seminars:

  1. XQuery
  2. More XML (needs concretisation)
  3. UML
  4. other suggestions?

Fall planning



Next meeting, closing

The next meeting is 27.9.2010, 09:30 Norwegian time.

The meeting was closed at 10:46.

Appendix - task lists for the next week