RORIC-LING is part of the BALRIC-LING project. The first main BALRIC-LING objective is to raise the awareness in the newly associated Balkan countries Bulgaria and Romania about the potential of the most advanced Human Language Technologies (HLT) and about the possible scientific and industrial applications of the corresponding linguistic resources. It is very important to create such awareness in those countries, because they are on their way to full EC integration but examples of successful HLT marketable applications do not exist at all for Bulgarian and Romanian. Having been isolated for many years from the broad West European scientific exchange of language engineering ideas and practice and having to deal with structurally different languages, the very few advanced HLT-groups from both countries still cannot gather by themselves a critical mass of informed specialists who could raise the quality of Language Engineering (LE) applications for the newly emerging HLT markets in Bulgaria and Romania. Since HLT is a rather broad field, BALRIC-LING will focus on four topics only:
To meet the target of building awareness in Bulgaria and Romania, BALRIC-LING aims at the realisation of the following three main initiatives:
Development of Regional Information Centers (RIC) in BULgaria and ROmania (BULRIC and RORIC correspondingly). Most generally, these information centers represent Web-sites with HLT tools descriptions, data samples, linguistic resources and prototypes of related supporting tools. The sites will support information desks, where specialists from the consortia will prepare comprehensive overviews of the four BALRIC-LING topics and interested organisation and individuals may post their queries, relevant to the RICs thematics. Documents in English as well as in Bulgarian and Romanian correspondingly for each country, will be available on the site because only in this way the materials will reach the public and interested companies and research groups in the respective Balkan states. In addition to this, the RICs sites will contain information about pertinent conferences, workshops and summer schools organised in Europe and closely related with BALRIC-LING topics. This information will be extremely useful for young people, showing interest in the field, because information about such events is extremely scarce in Bulgaria and Romania.
Virtual seminars, based on the queries received at the RIC centers support desks, will be held every six months. The idea is that subscribers to especially organised mailing lists with broad coverage may pose questions concerning all materials exposed at the corresponding RICs. Specialists from the consortia will prepare answers which will be mailed to all the seminar subscribers. These seminars will facilitate raising the awareness and the distribution of expertise from the more informed academic units to interested industrial organisations in Bulgaria and Romania. Biannual virtual bulletins in Bulgarian and Romanian respectively will be directed to subscribers of virtual seminars and will allow for broad dissemination of BALRIC-LING initiatives especially among linguistic units and among individuals in the country-side of Bulgaria and Romania.
The second main BALRIC-LING objective is to help Balkan research groups to become better prepared for scientific co-operation at European level. ILSP (Greece) and Sheffield University (UK) will share their rich experience and practice in conducting successful research with both European and national dimensions. The Regional Information Centers in Bulgaria and Romania will contribute to dissemination of HLT ideas among software companies which are interested in further development of advanced HLT applications for Bulgarian and Romanian.
One of the ways to facilitate the formation of future project consortia will be the exchange of information about existing formats and standardisation of the internal representation of some available resources of all partners. Being prepared in unified formats, those resources can be smoothly integrated for simultaneous use in multilingual applications and further developed. All standardisation requirements, set by BALRIC-LING, will be publicly available, so Balkan research groups and interested software companies may refer to them as guideline.
BALRIC-LING aims at standardisation of two formats of internal representation:
Standardisation of formats for encoding of monolingual and parallel corpora;
Standardisation of formats for internal representations of grammatical dictionaries in the three Balkan countries.
The compact BALRIC-LING configuration will allow for in-depth acquaintance with all details exchanged via narrower communication among partners. BALRIC-LING participants from EU-member countries will prepare an overview with evaluation of the progress of the awareness and dissemination tasks in the newly associated Balkan countries Bulgaria and Romania.