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Ugandan Languages: Vitality, Resources and Capacity Building

Revision as of 18:01, 20 October 2019 by Dorothee Beermann (Talk | contribs)


We celebrate 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages

To honor the Indigenous languages of Uganda the Department of African Languages & the Department of Information Systems organize a Language Fair with great speeches and exciting exhibitions. The Language Fair is followed by two days of information about the latest in language technologies accompanied by hands-on workshops in text and speech processing
The Event is sponsored by SIGUL a joint Special Interest Group for Under Resourced Languages of the European Language Resources Association (ELRA) and of the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA).

MAK-crest.jpg Where: Makerere University, 19 – 21 November 2019

Ugandan Language Fair - 19. November, 10:00 - 16:00

TIME: 10:00 - 16:00

The fair welcomes you to attend two stimulating keynote speeches and a poster session with presentations showcasing initiatives in local language development.

10:00 Welcoming Speech by Dr. Gilbert Gumoshabe, Head of the Department of African Languages

10:15 Welcoming Speech by Dr. Peter Nabende, Head of the School of Computing and Information Technology


10: 30 - 11:30 (Including 20 minutes of discussion) Judge Daniel David Ntanda Nsereko

Daniel Nesereko.jpeg

Ugandan Indigenous Languages: Our Heritage Professor Ntanda Nsereko is a judge at the International Criminal Court at Den Hagues. He has taught law at Makerere University and the University of Botswana. Professor Ntanda Nsereko is an ardent promoter of Luganda and all indigenous Ugandan languages and an author of books and articles on law and Human Rights. He has also translated Sophocles' Antigone into Luganda, and published an English-Luganda dictionary of law terms.

11: 30 - 12:30 (Including 20 minutes of discussion)

Professor Manuel Muranga

The case of Rukiga - A discussion of language development and language standardization.

Professor Muranga, Kabale University, has been active in the promotion of mother tongues since the introduction of Runyakitara at Makerere in 1990. He has taught Runyakitara at the Uganda Christian University.

Professor Muranga will talk about language diversity in Uganda and about Runyakitara.

12:30 - 14:00 REFRESHMENTS


TIME: 1:30 - 16:00

During the presentation session you are invited to visit stands. Here you hear more about the work for the development of Uganda's local languages. You can attend a book launch by Dorika Production and a Software Launch by Polytext AS, a Norwegian software company.

Dorika Publications was founded by the writer Waalabyeki Magoba. It is committed to producing quality Luganda literature to create a permanent yearning for reading in children and adults.


linguistic technology
Polytext is a small Norwegian software company. It produces linguistic tools and resources especially for lesser-resourced languages.



Dema LOGO.jpg
DEMA Language Solutions. DEMA is a small company that offers LANGUAGE SOLUTIONS. It is specialized in Translations, Localisation, Transcription and Editing Services.

The lectures on the two workshop days are free. The hand-on workshops are limited. We ask you to sign-up by sending a mail to: .....................

Workshop - Day 1 - 10:00 - 16:00



TIME: 10:00 - 11:00 (including 15 minutes of discussion)

Speaker: Prof. Laurent Besacier Speech technologies for low resource languages: an introduction

Laurent besacier .jpg
Professor Besacier is a Computer Scientist at the University of Grenoble, France, and Co-chair and ISCA liaison representative of the Special Interest Group for Under-resourced Languages (SIGUL) at ELRA (European Language Resources Association).


Time: 11:00 - 12:00 (including 15 minutes of discussion) Speaker: Prof. Dorothee Beermann Corpus building for less-resourced languages: the creation of African language resources.

Dorothee beermann-2019.JPG
Professor Beermann is a Linguist at the University of Science and Technology, Norway.

She is one of the Co-founders of Polytext and a contributor to SIGUL at ELRA (European Language Resources Association). She is a formal linguist with long experience in creating Interlinear Glossed Texts corpora for less-resourced languages. Prof. Beermann's talk will be accompanied by a hands-on tutorial on the creation of annotated text corpora.



TIME: 14:00 - 16:00

Tutorial 1 Speech technology (Prof Besacier): on speech data collection and annotation software.

Tutorial 2 Corpus creation (Prof. Beermann)

Tutorial 3 Luganda spell checker (Tormod Haugland, Polytext)

Workshop - Day 2

TIME: 10:00 - 11:00 (including 15 minutes of discussion)


Speaker: Prof. Laurent Bescacier span style="font-size:120%">Computational language documentation: an introduction</span>



TIME: 14:00 - 16:00

Tutorial 1 Speech technology (Prof Besacier): on speech data collection and annotation software.

Tutorial 2 Corpus creation (Prof. Beermann)

Tutorial 3 Luganda spell checker (Tormod Haugland, Polytext)