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The BerbaTek project for Basque: Promoting a less-resourced language via language technology for translation, content management and learning

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The Basque language is both a minority language (only a small proportion of the population of the Basque Country speaks it) and also a less-resourced language (being spoken only in a small region by few speakers). Fortunately, the Basque regional government is committed to its recovery, and has adopted policies for funding, among other things, language technologies, a field which a language aiming to survive cannot leave dispense with. BerbaTek is a 3-year (2009-2011) strategic research project on language, speech and multimedia technologies for Basque carried out by a consortium of 5 members, all prominent local organizations dedicated to research in the above-mentioned areas, and partially funded by the Departments for Industry and Culture of the Basque Government. The collaboration on BerbaTek has allowed not only a great amount of basic research to be done, but also a more applied research to be carried out and various prototypes to be developed to show the potential of integrating these technologies for the language industry sector, that is, companies working in the fields of translation, content management and learning.
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The BerbaTek project for Basque: Promoting a
less-resourced language via language technology
for translation, content management and learning
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1 Introduction
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119
Translation: Computation, Corpora, Cognition. Special Issue on Language Technologies for a Multilingual Europe, ed. by Georg
Rehm, Felix Sasaki, Daniel Stein, and Andreas Witt. Volume 3, Number 1. June 2013.
ISSN 2193-6986
''- 
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()*)+,()#**)-)#
-)9)B /-A). 
*     #   *  !"
*#**< >/
-**)*))6446.*
A)0&</644C>0</
644D>.)) ).) !"/
=)* +)
 . ?<1><6>+)<C>
)<,>)*
*/0-A)+
. *;).&.*
)/= !". 0-
)*).
)EE)</6411>/
2 The consortium
1#/23<?@@.../)*)/>)).*
)))*)**/-
)!-&?>)0->C*
>#/
' <?@@.../)/)*>     ) )
) *)**))/
-4$<?@@...//>+ +5
.*))!"/
5**& ) ) .**
)   :) -/  6441    - 
<?@@...//@&+&@$@9+>/
/56 <?@@;///>   ) ,C ) 
 !"#<'(@0>.).&$')
).; /-*A))
.&'-0F$9$.9-9'A)/
-6789<?@@//@>)
  !"#<'(@0>.;))
))/5)**)
--*!"--<?@@//@@G/*>.
* )))) !"/
3 Objectives
-**!-&.)* +)+
**+))))
)*)) !"#/
-&).!")))
  *   *) ) *)  )*  *
)/-)"&.5)
 .)
)*&)/-.)
))*/
120
*)*.& & ;
)**)5.))*/-
&!"))
))))/
#
)
!")-&<!->C44444+.)/
!"'& *</6414>/
)<H&></6416>/
& ))</6416>/
*C) *)</6416>/
)<I144:.>))*) *.<6416>/
F
)
!"=$<')/6411>!" =$/
=$-*<')/644D>=$I67444)))*/
-**) )/
J=".&/
)
)
())*)</6416>/
',:'
!-&..)/=)))
.;*).))"
     )  )*/ - *)
&. ) )**
 )*)?
-?)*)/
#? )  * ++
**)*)/
-?)) )
)/
4 Resources, tools and applications developed
-.&$' !")
1224/ - * )   ) <** 'F  ;)
)))))/> 
**. *.A)*.
)!-&/

)'<!;A6414K/6411>/
!<6442>+=*
&<6414>*)) ;) )/
=)

#C</6442>*)*)/
'#6<():6416>)))/
')''
TC3, Vol. 3, No. 1
121
''- 
*)
)

0</644D>;) "* *)*)/
';</6416>.)/
'*);;)<;6411>/
 *

</644DK/6442>J+.*/
&<L)6442>#9<!">/
:)

F+:;</6443K/644DK:/6411>+)
+*)* +!"/
:-):)- *!"/<&6414>/
)
-6') !"/
--G:1)) )/
--*-;+-+)) !"B/
--*0-</6414>..)</6411>/
0--)* *)))
</6414>/
)
)
9<F/6416>))<!">/
'(6'
!-&)))*)
) *)/-16C.)
)*A)/-&)
    * )    * 
)**. .?
-   ) *  . <*  *
*+)*>)
))/
))  )    *)      *  
 )/
-*;) *)*) )/
*+)5)*))/
#+)".
:)*<+)>/
-)" )*);@**/
 )))K;++))*/
&/
=*);))/
5 Prototypes
-  A) . )* *  .    
)       + )+ 
**+).  )*  )) 
// ))/-*
.?
*))*!"
<.  *)) *
* 9>/
122
-.****).)))
))*)"
)**/
'     )+.
*) )** )*;).
<) . * ///>  *) 
)/
5.1 Automatic dubbing of documentaries
-*)5* 5))< )
 )" )/> *)*<
& )+ )    )  *> .
)* * )/-) )
.51/)*)
<))*)*
)* >()*)+,M*))
5<).**& )
)>/-M:;:-**)
 !"  M ;++) ) )  )
)/=)) *+&) 
**-&)/
-*??@@&&*&/&/)*?D4DH@*@/
- *) * )  ;    ) )
)/ ) ));)
* **./-.
*+)).*))
.*/
-    F+:;<:/6411>
*)))/:;+
)) * !"/; *
!")). **.*
!"<:/6442>/F+:;
)/-)+!"*.)
;)). * ?@@*;/) //-
*)?@@...///
-0-9:;.4/,6*,6
))" 144&/F& .&
  ; ) )? . )  *M ;) 
*) ) +) )/   .  +
)):+ */
$...&)):-**
)* )<%+!/6411>/
9 ) ) .   0::+  
--/!")*;))  *
;/ -  ))   *  )   )
*")))*/#
))  ) )  *   * */
***))
* ) )/
TC3, Vol. 3, No. 1
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''- 
$,;7  
5.2 Multimedia and multilingual semantic web search engines
5.2.1 Semantic retrieval system based on document expansion
F **9*.)**)
*.")*?*)** 
")5)* /F)*
)** "**
)**/- *))*
.) ;/-)
*   . )  . )  *  
);/ **))
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124
")*.)*).)*
* 5)5*)*
A)+)*/* &.*))
)) *;&))/
*.))
9*)
 )***& $')"/
-!-&*; .$')5 )
)<F6416>??@@;6///@!&*@/
)***
&))))&*)
*  *) )*
/)*)*
*))* &.*)/
:)))J;<J>*.))
 * )+))) )   )     )
)* ")* ;"
*<:/6442>/)*;<>J
;)/)
* **)*));
)*.*))))*/-
.&)!-&.)**.;
=$ *</6414)>/
F&.;)*..))
)&  *  =$ <* 122D> .)  )
 *   ) */ =$   
A)*<>);)
))/   & . ))+*)  ;) 
)***))/
).&.)))*)
)*./.)"*
.&     =$ ))  / =
=$ .?))<>
).K*)
)..&)*)/=
C/4.)/-.
).*</
6442>/
)*+ =$.
& =$)) .?
=5+))*** )
 )./
= ** 
)*/-*./
=)*'9&<0.6446>
)
=$))/- ))
*.)*/
- *  * ))   .  ;)
*)*/F). . )*;
.); .  )*;
.;*/-....
TC3, Vol. 3, No. 1
125
''- 
);../
-*.**:,N<!(6447>
+ ++.)*)*
)))*/!:67.) ) ))/. 
*) )<9O6442>/
5.2.2 Multilingual semantic search engine for science and technology based on a
specialized ontology, with similar image search
 .))5).
)*)**) )))/-)
=$-*<')/644D>)))
))<.&.))5)
)) * . *)   )  . )
*)/>.&) *<;* *
**'-(.5 *
**<$>/-)M))*
.)*))/
-).*)K
).))<;*
.))>)*
<*;>5A)/*.
*.***)
()*)+,/    *       ?@@*&/
&/)*/
$);7 
entity
abstraction
physical_entity
object
organism
living_entity
whole
detrivore
decomposer
prototroph
parasite
zooparasite
microorganism
granivore
herbivore
soprovore
animal
phycobiont
predator
grazer
hyperpredator
alga
protoctist
hyperparasite
plant
chasmophyte
psammophyte
chasmaephyte
calcifuge
cryophil
anacroflora
hemicrytophyte
ekiaphyte
group
collection
microfauna
fauna
macrofauna
vegetation
Mediterranean_forest
temperate_forest
forest
mangrove_forest
biological_group
species
exotic_species
protected_species
vulnerable_species
threatened_species
rare_species
WNTerm
(Elhuyar+IXA)
Semantic
search
(Tecnalia)
Similar
images
(Vicomtech-IK4)
126
F   5 & ) .   )) 
)*O/.*))
 /  . )   ))  -) * ) 
. A)?  A) )* ))  )) *
 )))**))*)))))
/
#)!-&) .?
- * )    &   )5 .  
)) .// ))-)))
#* ))/ - &   *5 . &.
). )/
.67444I))))).
))*!"))))
))-))/**
)=$-*.* ))/
 )  ) . )    ;  
**)).
 .   ) ) .  *)
.)/#.**)/
-..*.))
* .    )  )  )  
) * 5))/
- *) )  ) .    *)   .
)*)))/
)*.)))) 
)).<***)/>/
  .*).
 14*)/-.)))*
+)*)/
5.3 Personal tutor for language learning
5).)*) 
/-C.*()*)+
,K  & !"  .   !"  M
)/-&?)
** ;) < )A . P) )/>  
)*;)<5;*))>
)*) *;) *K)
).)K) .;
).P).*")*
) */-))*.
5C/
-*)) ).*
 C ))  )   +  */   * 
).--*).
)*."/*&
*** )
    C  ))   / .    #II  
F)<?@@.../)/>)/
TC3, Vol. 3, No. 1
127
''- 
$(;8
*));).&<6414>/-
*      "/     
*)))):
 **":/
-* ).))*
< /644,K)./644,>/=  6&$ /%
*/# -*/*/<6447>)
*  A) " .) .    ./   
*M)5))))*
))/ 5)).)5
)*/-)
)*&*))
* " )5    */ F)  ) 
) &  % *&* )&
. )*)) */-
)")5;)/-
.*)  */!*
*   ))  " )/ 0.   .
)*)*"*+ */-..)
# -))/
=   .   *     ?
P) .. *")/
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- *   . P) &  .   )
< )/> 5  * < 
5>/.))*.P) 
*/-*).)P)
..+*).
P) )./
-. **& 114 +5*< 
;*EE.)*E  %E>
..)*)<;*
EE.)*
E  % E>*
/
)+"*& !".&
 ))<!"+)
!"+))!"+)*)>
. /
));*/99 
!"))). --
 /-**)
)) *)/
---0::*/0-
 *& ) 5* --
))) */
</6414>  &  ));/
;) *+.*))*
  ;)  0$: <0*)  $ :>+ )
#</6411>/-).)))
/-) *))).*
)))</6416>/ **
))*/- *) .
)*) *)"
</641C>/---.& !"
??@@) /@A)@@/
9  *    ))  )
*)5)   #'-<#*+')
->/!)#'- 
!"/*)) !"
.))<0Q/644C>.)5;
.& #'-.)
)*)/-.))* !"
./
-.. *)
) !"/  )+&<* / 6444>
)) *+&.)
!"  */) *6C4&
)) )!"#.!" 
 5)   ) P)  <*
)>/)&.&
&.) )
)) */-&M).)*1,2
&/$+&&!"). 
?+M))7H&.
+M)67/) 
TC3, Vol. 3, No. 1
129
''- 
P).*)*
.) .     )/ 0.  )  
) * *&/;*.)
 *&!"
))) /
-5)))5+
-6').))/
)&).)!"+
&)*.
9)<F/6416>/:)*
)*)*F'<F
')>).).))+/-.
). )*?)))
))))/- 
) ).))5))
)))*.*)
***/-*.*
) )  *    /    
9<"9> ).))
  )   )*/ -   ;*
.*. ..)5)
 #'-*.)))5)
   /   ) )*    
5) )) *./
6 Conclusions
!   #-      )  **
))) 
.)****
))/
   / <6411>     )*  
*  )   )   
) .    5 **/ F ;) 
!-&   ) . )  .&  
 *5./ *))
)*)
))*
) )) //
)**/
- )+)*
6
:-+$-=
'  .  !" .      *
 5))#))K
!",*7
))-;)9)/-)=
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TC3, Vol. 3, No. 1
131
''- 
7 Acknowledgements
-) .     9 *  !"
*#**<!-&A)42+6H6>:
)  )) <F:-6 -$6442+1,H37+#4C+ 41K .6 -$6442+
1,317+#4,+41K0K-$6414+6461D>/
8 References
 &   "  )  0N  
:  ')/  6442/  E     *    9  
=$+)E/ <66!9?*+ 8
@9';')**+6! <6
!  6  ! 9 12+63 /7<; +AB#,#
+()3()#3,#,!/
&F)/6442/E.+=
)5)*? *=E/8 
/C! 6%//C!6/" 1741+174H/!$
23D+1+733C7+,62+1/'/
 &   / 6442/ E' '9&  = 
*E/8 ,)  4 
6 !946!9#)**+"CC+,1/!$?!$23D+1+
2C6,C6+1H+2'/)/
&F:);F
0O/6442/E+?*)
)E/D/ 64
/ # ' : 4 ,* E  !#94
$!94$)**+# )/)$#*))(/H6,1
63CT6D4/$?4C46+23,C!$?23D+C+H,6+1737C+4
&:&/6414/ E+=
* !*) )*E/   )F<66>? 6DD2+6D2H/
F; '/
&:#*9/6414/ E;
. !  *E/ 8  7   
/9:49:4!,*"C3CUC33/
9))<9>?(:/
&;F/6414/E)*;!
=$ 99E/8 )(/! 
!9!"2+13/!A#/
 &  !;  A  N&* $/ 6411/
E*)'.*)#E/ 8
3+6D 6 !96!9#@9')*,,
78'F
 : :;/6414/ E*)) 
*)5)-;E/8A/! <98
/'69)*,*63+CD/9&A&)6414
 & : N      
/6414/E'!&?*) *
!")-&E/9<!7H44D?H4+
3C/
132
%&&&:&
:/6443/E- +:-*!"?
)E/9<!7
,C2,?C3,+CD,/
%&#N&&
:&:/644D/ E++!"
::)- 9)*E/8 
B! 6 D'66D'6#
)**B"73+H2/0.
 %&/6411/
E-) +9)
)!"E/ 8G9H'
! ;@9'! !7
9,6+,H/'V'/
 F  ;F  / 644D/ E
".*JW#644DE/E< !#
94$*&/
*0Q
$/644D/E0* 
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7/7I!J7626CCD+C,,/
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 ':4! ':4!"/
;*0Q
$%/644C/E0O$61?
)*.))E/ 8
 E<98D979/-$644C/
$/
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$*0Q/6414/E0::+)!"
0-E/8 C'K@C'@"/
(/
  %&   $  * 0Q/ 6411/ E0$:+!
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/! 6778/!6778"/
'#)9)/
%&$*0Q/6411/ E*0$:+
 ()  ) E/  8  /
! /)/
$*0Q/641C/X'*)()#
!  !  ") =   * )Y/ /444
'679861<C>77HT7HH/
%+!#&&Z:["
/6411/E0:)-9T!
*E/8D'7D'7>*
#/
TC3, Vol. 3, No. 1
133
''- 
*#/122D/E<;649.7 
6/#*?:-'/
;   %& / 6411/ E*) ;) $(
;!"?))))))"E/8
ED&4; 80:
EDE4)*,,"/#@0-) )'F/
0.-0/6446/E-)+'9&E/ 8 E
EE EEE"0/
0Q*&$:O%&*N
Q)/644C/E-!")G<>?)5
) E/  '      4    
./
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   )    !% F N
/6416/ '     L4  
D4'6<4'E87/9*0&<>//
  F    ) :  -*
\#'/644,/ E$'- #? *
!E/8 E<987'6
997()/
& &/ 6414/ 4I7D'; / 9 /   7D' 
D : 9 /   7D'#:D'#4D' /'
/'(@0+ !"#/
%&()/6442/E)
) ))*+)5)!"+)*)
*E/  8  E E  ! E6!"
/
/6416/E * *)))
) !" *.E/8 )3/
! !9!J9/<0)*,)":*/
: # / '& 9  0) )]/ 6442/ 6
 /#*?#*'/
:   ) -/ 6442/ E:;? : . 
)E/ 8E$LJ#7:#
D'$:D'")/
:  %&      & & :&
/6411/E:;+)+*)
* !"E/D'C67<1>7C+D6/
F$*0Q%&;NQ)
  /6416/ E9   )
 *  !"E/  8  9 : 
4! 9:4!"/-&/
F  ;/  6416/ @   ;  #
/'/'(@0+
 !"#/
')   ; &  &  
* 9/ 644D/ E=$-9:? #*  !" =$ 
-*) )E/  8      9  :  
4! 9:4!":&:))/
134
')&&/6411/ E:
))!"=E/ 9:4 ,7<6>
161+1,6/
9   0 O/ 6442/ E- ') 9)
*.&?!:67!E/$'/ :
C<,>CCC+CD2/
 %&  $  * 0Q/ 6411/ E 0 --
) ')):E/8/
! /)/
%&$*0QN);
  F/ 6416/ E( )   0 J
 !"E/  89:4
! 9:4!"/-&/
()%&&:/6416/E'#6?* 
 ' # *  =E/  '  9
:4! 9:4!"/-&/
:)/6414/E):
#+J- !"+#9E/8 
9:4! 9:4!"/(:/
%&():L)/644D/E:
-*- **9)#*#E/'
9-<,163C+6D4/
   :   )/ 6442/ E#*  
)  - *  #9? ) J /
-#+)))+!)E/  8E'#
/ :'/:"/
&:%&()/6416/E!!"+
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:4! 9:4!"/-&/
).  -&& &.  :) '/ 644,/ E*) 
-E/8 E<987'
6997()/
* 9 0 0^   *  :&/ 6444/
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/! 9:49:4!"/
)/
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&M'5)) -. *)+
 ++ !& JE/  8  E 
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=* !   ) `a#L #*$  !A
'&/6441/ E)-) :E/ 
' 4 /*&/
TC3, Vol. 3, No. 1
135
... The other, more specialized, corpora developed for Basque include the Emotional Speech Database for corpus-based speech synthesis by Saratxaga et al. (2006) that consists of approximately 20 hours of high-quality recordings, evaluated in detail by Sainz et al. (2008), and a smaller 1.5 hour-long multimodal audiovisual database of emotional speech developed by Navas et al. (2004) for prosody studies. Further Basque speech resources are hopefully going to be developed as part of the BerbaTek project, an joint effort by various academic and commercial organizations in the Basque Autonomous Community to increase the availability of speech and language technologies (Arrieta et al., 2008;Leturia et al., 2018). ...
Conference Paper
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This paper introduces new open speech datasets for three of the languages of Spain: Basque, Catalan and Galician. Catalan is furthermore the official language of the Principality of Andorra. The datasets consist of high-quality multi-speaker recordings of the three languages along with the associated transcriptions. The resulting corpora include over 33 hours of crowd-sourced recordings of 132 male and female native speakers. The recording scripts also include material for elicitation of global and local place names, personal and business names. The datasets are released under a permissive license and are available for free download for commercial, academic and personal use. The high-quality annotated speech datasets described in this paper can be used to, among other things, build text-to-speech systems, serve as adaptation data in automatic speech recognition and provide useful phonetic and phonological insights in corpus linguistics.
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Taking as a starting-point the development on cooccurrence techniques for several languages , we focus on the aspects that should be considered in a NV extraction task for Basque. In Basque, NV expressions are considered those combinations in which a noun, inflected or not, is co-occurring with a verb, as erabakia hartu ('to make a decision'), kontuan hartu ('to take into account') and buruz jakin ('to know by heart'). A basic extraction system has been developed and evaluated against two references: a) a reference which includes NV entries from several lexicographic works; and b) a manual evaluation by three experts of a random sample from the n-best lists.
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In the last few years, much work has been done to build Basque corpora. But we still lack a large general corpus of a size comparable with those existing in other major languages, and much more so if we take into account the corpora lately built automatically from the web, which nowadays account for billions of word-sized corpora for English, German, Spanish, etc. As Basque is an under-resourced language, it is thus logical that we should also turn to this cheap and fast method of collecting corpora. In this paper we present the research we have done to build a large general corpus of Basque from the web. We have tried and evaluated which of the two methods mentioned in the literature, that is, by crawling or by using search engines, best suits Basque, in terms of parameters such as speed, cost, size or quality. Our conclusion is that crawling is the one that has the potential for building the largest corpora for Basque. Using this method we have built a good quality corpus of more than 100 million words, and we expect to build a much larger one in the near future.
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This paper proposes the automatic generation of Fill-in-the-Blank Questions (FBQs) together with testing based on Item Response Theory (IRT) to measure English proficiency. First, the proposal generates an FBQ from a given sen- tence in English. The position of a blank in the sentence is determined, and the word at that position is considered as the correct choice. The candidates for incorrect choices for the blank are hypothesized through a thesaurus. Then, each of the candidates is verified by us- ing the Web. Finally, the blanked sentence, the correct choice and the incorrect choices surviv- ing the verification are together laid out to form the FBQ. Second, the proficiency of non- native speakers who took the test consisting of such FBQs is estimated through IRT. Our experimental results suggest that: (1) the generated questions plus IRT estimate the non-native speakers' English proficiency; (2) while on the other hand, the test can be completed almost perfectly by English native speakers; and (3) the number of questions can be reduced by using item information in IRT. The proposed method provides teach- ers and testers with a tool that reduces time and expenditure for testing English profi- ciency.
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SPEECON, launched in February 2000, is a project focusing on collecting linguistic data for speech recogniser training. Put into action by an industrial consortium, it promotes the development of voice controlled consumer applications such as television sets, video recorders, audio equipment, toys, information kiosks, mobile phones, palmtop computers and car navigation kits. During the lifetime of the project, scheduled to last two years, partners will collect speech data for 18 languages or dialectal zones, including most of the languages spoken in the EU. Attention will also be devoted to research into the environment of the recordings, which are, like the typical surroundings of CE applications, at home, in the office, in public places or in moving vehicles. The following pages will give a brief overview of the workplan for the months to come. 1.
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IXA group has developed during 23 years a basic set of resources, tools and applications for Basque following to an initial strategy which has been adapted according to technological changes. We think that our strategy and experience can be a reference for other less resourced languages. According to a six level classification of world languages, we estimate that this strategy may be useful for several hundred languages, those that have developed a written standard but that still are beginners in Human Language Technology.
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On prsente les lignes essentielles du projet HIZKING21. Le but principal de ce projetconsiste favoriser la recherche sur l'ingnierie linguistique pour rpondre aux exigences del'environnement globalis de nos jours. Notre domaine est le dveloppement des technologiesdu langage pour la langue basque ainsi que l'intgration des ressources et des instrumentspour les industries de la langue --des ressources qui existent dj et d'autres dvelopper dansce projet-- dans des diffrents dispositifs (PCs,...