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European Language Equality, Report on Europe's Sign Languages

Vincent Vandeghinste; Mirella De Sisto; Maria Kopf; Davy Van Landuyt Picron; Irene Murtagh; Eleftherios Avramidis; Mathieu De Coster
In: Maria Giagkou; Stelios Piperidis; Georg Rehm; Jane Dunne (Hrsg.). Project European Language Equality (ELE). Pages 1-31, ELE Consortium, 5/2023.


This report on Europe's Sign Languages is part of a series of language deliverables developed within the framework of the European Language Equality (ELE) project. The series seeks to not only delineate the current state of affairs for each European language, but to additionally identify the gaps and factors that hinder further development in research and technology. The survey presented here focuses on the condition of Language Technology (LT) with regard to Europe's Sign Languages, a set of languages often forgotten in the context of European Language Equality. With the rise of the deep learning paradigm in artificial intelligence, sign language technologies become technologically feasible, provided that enough data is available to feed this data-hungry paradigm. It is exactly the quality and quantity of data that is the main bottleneck in development of well performing and useful technologies. In the past, there have been several projects aimed at developing sign language technologies and methodologies that have been deemed of little value by the deaf communities. Co-creation and involvement of deaf communities throughout projects and development of technologies ensures that this does not happen again.


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