[FOSDEM] [CfP] Coding for Language Communities Devroom at FOSDEM 2020

Peter Bouda hey at peterbouda.eu
Mon Oct 14 08:46:24 CET 2019

FOSDEM 2020 - Coding for Language Communities devroom
Saturday, February 1st, 2020, Brussels, Belgium

There are currently around 7.000 languages spoken all over the world, 
but in many communities there has been a strong tendency to learn and 
use only major languages such as English, German, French, etc., 
especially in electronic communication. This is partly caused by the 
lack of hardware (e.g. keyboards) and software (for transliteration, 
text completion, etc.) for under-resourced languages, which constrain 
the natural usage of people's own language in many tasks. The grassroots 
initiative "Coding for Language Communities" involves ongoing research 
and development to turn that process in exactly the other direction: 
every successful technology can be used to teach, revitalize and 
therefore boost the use of regional languages. This technology should 
also assist the renewal of local languages and cultures by allowing 
people to actively teach, learn, extend, and spread their language in 
their community. Our aim is to give people the ability to use their 
mother tongue in everyday electronic communication, no matter where they 
are or what language they speak.

The initiative "Coding for Language Communites" aims to bring together 
three groups:

1) Speakers of languages that are currently not supported by language 
technologies and that want to use their language on electronic devices;
2) Students of linguistics and language-related disciplines interested 
in learning about software development;
3) Software developers and students of computational sciences that are 
interested in supporting under-resourced languages by technological means.

We think that free software is a requirement for free communication in 
any language. Our goal is to empower communities to build their own 
language processing tools based on free software projects. Therefore, we 
welcome proposals for talks about, but not limited to, the following topics:

* Free software and open source projects that develop NLP tools
* Open speech interfaces for computers and mobile devices
* Open AI projects that process natural language
* Applications of deep learning to under-resourced languages
* Multi-lingual input methods
* Translation of free software and open source projects
* Development of technical terminology for under-resourced languages
* Open Data, data collection and multi-lingual corpora
* Language diversity in free software and open source

Talks should be 20-45 minutes in length, plus 5-10 minutes time for Q&A. 
Paper submission is handled via the Pentabarf tool at the FOSDEM website 
[1], please re-use any account that you might have from previous years. 
The deadline for proposals is December 1st, 2019. Make sure to include 
the following in your proposal:

* title of your talk
* abstract
* your full name
* your short bio
* a picture of yourself (optional)
* duration of your talk
* links to code / slides / material for the talk (optional)

The devroom will take place on Saturday of February 1st, 2020 at ​ULB 
Solbosch Campus in Brussels, Belgium [2]. Presenting at FOSDEM implies 
giving permission to be recorded. The recordings will be published under 
the same licence as all FOSDEM content (CC-BY).

Any question or doubts? Please use our mailing list [3].


FOSDEM is a two-day event organised by volunteers to promote the 
widespread use of free and open source software. Taking place in the 
beautiful city of Brussels (Belgium), FOSDEM is widely recognised as the 
best such conference in Europe. No registration necessary. We follow 
FOSDEM’s CoC [4].

Important dates

2019-10-14 CfP
2019-12-01 CfP deadline
2019-12-15 Devroom schedule published, speakers notified
2020-02-01 Coding for Language Communities devroom takes place


[1] https://penta.fosdem.org/submission/FOSDEM20
[2] https://fosdem.org/2020/practical/transportation 
[3] https://lists.fosdem.org/listinfo/clc-devroom
[4] https://fosdem.org/2020/practical/conduct 

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