Welcome to the last issue of our Newsletter. 

The conclusion of the ELRC project also marks the beginning of another cycle or, to quote Philippe Gelin, Head of DG/CONNECT at the European Commission, a turning point.

During the 12th LRB meeting in Prague, Gelin recalled how incredibly impactful the results of the whole CEF Programme have been in the last years, referring to the eTranslation success (which now delivers 200 million translations per year) and the release of further language tools (e.g., anonymisation, speech transcription). Such tools are already available in several languages, but the aim is to continuously improve and extend them – as long as enough data is available for this. More than ever, this proves how important ELRC’s goal was and will remain even after the project ends: Language data is essential for translation and other language tools, and it is crucial to keep on collecting such data.

At the beginning of ELRC, the core idea was to let the Member States administrations work together in order to collect and make available the language data they generate daily in all (official) EU languages. The idea turned out to be very successful. The transition from ELRC towards the Language Data Space (LDS) will be such a turning point, because it will shift the LR collection approach from mainly public administration-centered towards business-oriented. In fact, the main goal of the Data Spaces is the deployment of new technologies for citizens and public administration, but also for the private sector. Of course, the provision of language resources from the public administration will remain the starting point of the LDS business, but the new platform really aims at opening the language data market to the private sector.

The shift from ELRC to LDS will not be an easy one, but in the end, it will help the European industry to compete globally with the LT services provided by US companies, and to build trust throughout the language data sharing process.

After seven successful years, it’s time for the ELRC team to say “Goodbye” and make way for this new era for the language resources collection. A huge “Thank You” to everyone who contributed to shape Europe’s multilingual future, either taking part in workshops and meetings, contributing data to the ELRC-Share, or just showing interest in ELRC’s work and the role of language data in Europe. 

Our special thanks go to the members of the Language Resource Board and the National Anchor Points for spreading ELRC’s message in the Member States. 

We wish you a peaceful and happy holiday time and look forward to the future cooperations and initiatives within the Common European Language Data Space!