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First National Digital Repository for Irish language data launched

Posted: 9 May, 2019

Oifig na Gaeilge, TU Dublin staff, Gráinne Ní Bhreithiún and Siobhán Nic Gaoithín attended the recent launch in Galway of the ‘National Relay Station’ (NRS) - a new national digital repository for language data, which aims to improve machine translation for public bodies in Ireland and across Europe. Dr Aodhán Mac Cormaic, Director of Irish at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht launched the National Relay Station on the 8th May 2019 and is the first central platform to share bilingual language data nationally.

Seoladh ELRI
From Left: Helen McHugh, ADAPT Centre, DCU; Siobhán Nic Gaoithín, TU Dublin; Áine Ní Shúilleabháin, TCD; Brian Mac Maghnuis, NUI Maynooth; Gráinne Ní Bhreithiún, TU Dublin and Teresa Lynn, ADAPT Centre, DCU.

Developed by researchers at the ADAPT Centre, Dublin City University, the new online platform aims to improve the quality of Irish-language translations from the European Union’s automated translation system - eTranslation - whilst also helping to digitally support the Irish language. 

Oifig na Gaeilge, TU Dublin have partnered with the Adapt Centre and use the NRS to upload bilingual language data to one central location. This new central repository for English/Irish translation data will improve machine translation for the Irish language. The aim of the NRS is to collect, prepare and share language resources with the ultimate aim to improve translation technology for public administration nationally and across Europe. The collected data will be relayed to a larger European portal, which collects data from all 24 official European languages in order to improve the eTranslation system.

At the launch event, by Dr Aodhán Mac Cormaic, Director of Irish at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht said: “In the digital age, it is hugely important that technological development in relation to the Irish language keeps pace with that of other languages.  This relay station is a vital piece of infrastructure as we seek to develop and improve the quality of machine translation for the Irish language, which will in turn lead to better communication and service provision in the language, at a national and European level.  The programme will also complement the work already being undertaken at national and EU level aimed at ending the derogation on the use of Irish in the institutions of the EU by the end of 2021.”

The objectives of the NRS is to:

  • Serve as a platform for the use of public servants working with the Irish language to upload language data to one central location.
  • Reduce national translation costs and to support the development of translation technology for the Irish language.
  • Improve the EU automated translation systems, such as ‘eTranslation’ that are freely available to all public institutions.

English/Irish bilingual content already available in TU Dublin can be sent to Oifig na Gaeilge at gaeilge@dit.ie for uploading and contact Oifig na Gaeilge for further details of the project:

Tuilleadh eolais / Further information: Siobhán / Gráinne in Oifig na Gaeilge, TU Dublin, Rathdown House, Grangegorman, Dublin 7 / 01 4027043 / gaeilge@dit.ie / www.dit.ie/gaeilge