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ISCApad Archive  »  2016  »  ISCApad #214  »  Academic and Industry Notes  »  The International Standard Language Resource Number (ISLRN)

ISCApad #214

Monday, April 11, 2016 by Chris Wellekens

4-9 The International Standard Language Resource Number (ISLRN)

The Resource Management Agency (RMA), an important language resource player in South Africa, adopts the International Standard Language Resource Number (ISLRN) initiative


The RMA is now a certified provider to the ISLRN system. This means that the RMA can apply for ISLRNs on behalf of the developers of the data that is managed and distributed via the RMA website. The RMA has already submitted 117 language resources to the ISLRN, including language resources for the 11 official languages of South Africa. These include text and speech resources such as text corpora (annotated, genre classification, parallel), translation memories, custom dictionaries for government domain, compound semantic and splitting datasets, frequency word lists, speech corpora, and pronunciation dictionaries. The meta-information for these language resources is also available on the ISLRN website with a broad international audience.


As part of an international effort to document and archive the various language resource development efforts around the world, a system of assigning ISLRNs was established in November 2013. The ISLRN is a unique ?persistent identifier? to be assigned to each language resource. The establishment of ISLRNs was a major step in the networked and shared world of human language technologies. Unique resources must be identified as they are, and meta-catalogues require a common identification format to manage data correctly. Therefore, language resources should carry identical identification schemes independent of their representations, whatever their types and wherever their physical locations (on hard drives, internet or intranet) (


About RMA: The Department of Arts and Culture of South Africa established the RMA to manage and distribute reusable text and speech resources developed by the National Centre for Human Language Technology from a centralised location. As many of the South African languages are deemed resource-scarce, the RMA aspires to make data resources for these languages more readily available.

To find out more about RMA, please visit the RMA website:


About ELRA: The European Language Resources Association (ELRA) is a non-profit-making organisation founded by the European Commission in 1995, with the mission of providing a clearing house for language resources and promoting human language technologies.

To find out more about ELRA, please visit the website:


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