[FOSDEM] Call for Participation: Coding for Language Communities devroom @FOSDEM2016

Peter Bouda pbouda at cidles.eu
Mon Nov 2 14:49:48 CET 2015

FOSDEM 2016 - Coding for Language Communities devroom
Sunday, January 31, 2016, Brussels, Belgium

There are currently around 7.000 languages spoken all over the world, 
but in many communities there has been astrong 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" involvesongoing 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
* 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 30-40 minutes in length, plus 10-15 minutes time for 
Q&A.Paper submission is handled via the Pentabarf tool at the FOSDEM 
website[1]. The deadline for proposals is December 11th, 2015. 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 Sunday of January 31, 2016 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] or join our 
Telegram chat channel[4].


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. FOSDEM covers a wide spectrum of free 
and open source software projects, and offers a platform for people to 
collaborate. To this end, FOSDEM has set up developer rooms (devrooms) 
with network/internet connectivity and projectors where teams can meet 
and showcase their projects. Devrooms are a place for teams to discuss, 
hack and publicly present latest directions, lightning talks, news and 
discussions. Besides developer rooms, FOSDEM also offers main tracks, 
lightning talks, certification exams and project stands. Every year, 
FOSDEM hosts more than 5000 developers at the ULB Solbosch campus. 
Participation and attendance is totally free, though the organisers 
gratefully accept donations and sponsorship. No registration necessary.

Important dates

2015-12-11 CfP deadline
2015-12-18 Devroom schedule published, speakers notified
2016-01-31 Coding for Language Communities devroom takes place


[1] https://penta.fosdem.org/submission/FOSDEM16

[2] ​https://fosdem.org/2016/practical/transportation/

[3] https://lists.fosdem.org/listinfo/clc-devroom

[4] https://telegram.me/codinglc

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