Facilitating the Spread of New Sign Language Technologies across Europe

In Proceedings of the 10th Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages: Multilingual Sign Language Resources (sign-lang@LREC 2022)
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For developing sign language technologies like automatic translation, huge amounts of training data are required. Even the larger corpora available for some sign languages are tiny compared to the amounts of data used for corresponding spoken language technologies. The overarching goal of the European project EASIER is to develop a framework for bidirectional automatic translation between sign and spoken languages and between sign languages. One part of this multi-dimensional project is that it will pool available language resources from European sign languages into a larger dataset to address the data scarcity problem. This approach promises to open the floor for lower-resourced sign languages in Europe. This article focusses on efforts in the EASIER project to allow for new languages to make use of such technologies in the future. What are the characteristics of sign language resources needed to train recognition, translation, and synthesis algorithms, and how can other countries including those without any sign resources follow along with these developments? The efforts undertaken in EASIER include creating workflow documents and organizing training sessions in online workshops. They reflect the current state of the art, and will likely need to be updated in the coming decade.