The second International Workshop on Spoken Languages Technologies for Under-resourced languages (SLTU’10) will be held at University Sains Malaysia (USM), Penang, Malaysia, May 3 to May 5, 2010.

The first workshop on Spoken Languages Technologies for Under-Resourced Languages was organized in Hanoi, Vietnam, in 2008 by Multimedia, Information, Communication and Applications (MICA) research center in Vietnam and Laboratoire d’Informatique de Grenoble (LIG) in France. This first workshop gathered 40 participants during three days. More details are available on

SLTU is an abbreviation for “Spoken Languages Technologies for Under-Resourced Languages" that represents a group of researchers that are interested in natural language processing (NLP) and computational linguistics (CL) particularly in spoken languages where their data resources are rather limited such as the native language of Sabah and Sarawak, aborigines’ language, Vietnamese language, Cambodian language, languages from Africa region and other parts of the world. Apart from that, researchers in this field are also interested in foreign dialects. Therefore, Malay dialects and Malaysian English spoken by local people have also been included.

The first SLTU workshop was held in Hanoi, Vietnam organized by MICA Laboratory. A total of 20 research papers were presented during the 3 day workshop.

For 2010, we intend to attract more participants, especially from the local regional zone (Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, ...). The workshop will take place inside USM in Penang, Malaysia. SLTU research workshop will focus on spoken language processing for under-resourced languages and aims at gathering researchers working on:

  • ASR, synthesis and translation for under-resourced languages
  • portability issues
  • multilingual spoken language processing
  • fast resources acquisition (speech, text, lexicons, parallel corpora)
  • spoken language processing for languages with rich morphology
  • spoken language processing for languages without separators
  • spoken language processing for languages without writing system
  • NLP for rare or endangered languages

Invited Speakers

  • Haizhou Li, Institute for Infocomm Research, Singapore
  • Title: BISTRA: Malay-English bidirectional speech translation

    In this talk, I will describe the development of a Malay-English bidirectional speech translation system in the Institute for Infocomm Research, Singapore, as part of the Asian Speech Translation Advanced Research Consortium. I will introduce the basic components and the linguistic resources, in particular, large vocabulary continuous speech recognition, speech synthesis, and machine translation concerning Malay language. I will also discuss the network-based system architecture that supports the real-time speech translation service.

    Dr Haizhou Li is the Principal Scientist of Human Language Technology at the Institute for Infocomm Research in Singapore. His research interests include automatic speech recognition and machine translation.

    Dr Li taught in the University of Hong Kong and South China University of Technology (1988-1994). He was a Visiting Professor at CRIN/INRIA in France (1994-1995). He was a Research Manager in Apple-ISS Research Centre (1996-1998), a Research Director in Lernout & Hauspie Asia Pacific (1999-2001), and a Vice President in InfoTalk Corp. Ltd (2001-2003), responsible for Asian language products. In 2009, he was named one the two Nokia Professors by Nokia Foundation.

    Dr Li now serves as an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing. He is an elected Board Member of the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA, 2009-2013), an Executive Board Member of the Asian Federation of Natural Language Processing (AFNLP, 2006-2010).

  • Ruhi Sarikaya, IBM Watson, USA
  • Title: Towards Building Effective Language Translation Systems

    Automatic Language Translation - widely known as Machine Translation (MT) - has been one of the long-standing elusive goals in natural language processing and artificial intelligence. With the effect of increasing globalization at the individual and enterprise level, and wide-spread use of social networking sites the necessity to exchange knowledge between people who do not share a common language put MT into the spotlight. Now, having access to vast amounts of translation data and powerful computers, we are closer than ever to achieving that goal. In this talk we focus on building usable machine translation systems. We will highlight the practical and fundamental challenges for building MT systems and present our solutions and approaches on both fronts. In particular, we first give an overview of MT research, then focus on parallel data construction for MT, language and MT modeling in continuous space. We also demonstrate working MT systems for various applications between English and several major languages.

  • Alex Waibel, Universität Karlsruhe, Germany
  • Title: Speech translators for humanitarian projects

    This talk will describe Jibbigo and our speech translators designed and experimented in the context of humanitarian exercises in Thailand, Honduras and Indonesia.

    Dr. Alexander Waibel is a Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh and at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany. He is the director of the International Center for Advanced Communication Technologies (interACT), a center between seven international research institutions worldwide. At Carnegie Mellon, he also serves as Associate Director of the Language Technologies Institute.

    Dr. Waibel was one of the founders of C-STAR, the international consortium for speech translation research and served as its chairman from 1998-2000. His team has developed the JANUS speech translation system, the first American and European Speech Translation system, and more recently the first real-time simultaneous speech translation system for lectures. His lab has also developed a number of multimodal systems including perceptual Meeting Rooms, Meeting recognizers, Meeting Browser and multimodal dialog systems for humanoid robots. He directed the CHIL program (FP-6 Integrated Project on multimodality) in Europe and the NSF-ITR project STR-DUST (the first domain independent speech translation project) in the US. He is part of the French-German project Quaero. In the areas of speech, speech translation, and multimodal interfaces Dr. Waibel holds several patents and has founded and co-founded several successful commercial ventures.

    Dr. Waibel received the B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1979, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1980 and 1986. His work on the Time Delay Neural Networks was awarded the IEEE best paper award in 1990. His contributions to multilingual and speech translation systems was awarded the "Alcatel SEL Research Prize for Technical Communication" in 1994, the "Allen Newell Award for Research Excellence" from CMU in 2002, and the Speech Communication Best Paper Award in 2002.

Important dates

  • Paper submission: December 15, 2009 January 6, 2010
  • Notification of Paper Acceptance: February 15, 2010
  • Author Registration Deadline: March 31, 2010

Download the conference brochure here.


Grants will be given to students and young scientists by ISCA to attend this workshop. To find out how to apply,

Grants will be also given to students and young scientists by AFCP to attend this workshop. You must send a resume, application letter and detailed travel expenses to : and BEFORE March 20th, 2010. Please specify [AFCP Grant Application for SLTU Wshop] in the subject of the email.

You can also directly fill a form (in French !!) at

Please note that you must apply to either ISCA or AFCP: you cannot get a grant from both organizations!

UPDATE 30 March 2010: Below is the list of receivers for ISCA and AFCP grants

  1. Abbas Malik, France
  2. Tadesse Anberbir, Korea
  3. Firoj Alam, Bangladesh
  4. Mac Dang Khoa, Vietnam
  5. Tarjan Balazs, Hungary


 Association Francophone de la Communication Parlée  
  International Speech Communication Association
Speech Processing Asian Network  
  Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Grenoble INP      


National Library of Malaysia