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ELRC enables crisis response without language borders

| Language & Text Understanding | Multilinguality and Language Technology | Saarbrücken

Through an urgent plea for language data, the European Commission (EC) is supporting the development of technologies to enable cross-border communication for helpers and refugees in the Ukraine crisis. Seamless communication is vital in crisis situations not only to allow for optimal coordination between helpers from different countries and Ukrainian refugees but also to prevent misunderstandings and the spread of misinformation throughout Europe.

The European Language Resource Coordination (ELRC), which is headed by DFKI’s Department for Language Technologies and Multilinguality, was asked to organize the necessary data collection of bi-/multilingual corpora for Ukrainian to/from all EU languages within the “Crisis response without language borders” initiative. The data will be used to train an easily accessible, free and fast automatic translation system, allowing direct translation between Ukrainian and EU official languages. This will be an immense help in easing communication across borders for helpers and refugees and will also maximize the effectiveness of the crisis response in general. Already on March 10, the first engines of the European Commission’s machine translation service eTranslation went live for Ukrainian to/from 24 EU official languages.

You can help improve the translation quality and support this initiative by sending relevant language data and/or related suggestions to the ELRC Secretariat () or by directly uploading your resources to the ELRC-SHARE Repository at Any language data and/or pointers to relevant datasets would be instrumental to overcoming language barriers between Ukrainian and EU languages!

You can also meet the people behind ELRC directly: True to the motto “Think big – For Europe’s multilingual future,” ELRC is also organizing its 6th ELRC Conference, which will take place on March 31, 2022, via Zoom and Youtube. Over the last years, research on language-centric Artificial Intelligence “made in Europe” has become increasingly important. Efforts have been maximized to work towards Europe’s independence of non-EU players. This is not only important for the industry and autonomy of the EU but also for the security and privacy of all its citizens. However, this goal can only be achieved by joining forces and driving the change together – by thinking big for Europe’s multilingual future.

The 6th edition of ELRC’s annual conference will hence focus on the latest European solutions and activities related to Large Language Models, multimodal language data, and low-resource NMT. It will overview the planned European Language Data Space, which is foreseen as part of the freshly introduced Digital Europe Programme (DIGITAL). Of course, the event will also showcase the latest activities and achievements of ELRC, including first insights into the initiative “Crisis response without borders” and the use of LT for fighting disinformation. The full conference program is available on the event website.

If you want to participate in this free online event, join the over 400 registered participants and reserve your virtual spot here.



Dr. Andrea Lösch, M.A. M.Sc.

Research Department Multilinguality and Language Technology , DFKI