Dutch-Flemish Human Language Technology Agency

Situation

The Dutch-Flemish HLT Agency is the knowledge and distribution center for digital Dutch language text collections, dictionaries, scientific dictionaries, speech corpora and language and speech technology software. The HLT Agency manages these language resources and makes them available for new projects in the fields of education, research and development. Their online product catalogue provides individual descriptions of all the available resources. Many of them can be viewed online and ordered directly from the HLT Agency. Subject to signing a user agreement, virtually all products can be used free of charge for non-commercial purposes. Commercial parties have to pay a moderate license fee.

The HLT Agency is a project of the Dutch Language Union (Nederlandse Taalunie). In 2012, several parties were asked to submit proposals for providing a new infrastructure for the HLT Agency’s resources and periodical technical maintenance of these resources. Evaluation of the proposals resulted in the choice for Appen. The cooperation between the HLT Agency and Appen started in 2013.

Solution

During the first year, Appen prepared a design for new infrastructure and in collaboration with the HLT Agency facilitated migration of resources to this infrastructure. New processes were defined and implemented to allow the HLT Agency to incorporate new resources as part of their collection. Current activities focus on technical maintenance of the data including making sure the latest open formats are used. Also, in the background, automatically monitoring activity in the data repository is being tested. This will become especially important when third parties access the new repository.

Benefits

Appen offers in depth knowledge of data management as well as processes which are used in this project to ensure adequate maintenance of language resources.

Appen is a proactive partner that thinks together with the client and suggests process improvements in order to maximize every client’s success. Appen combines these processes with an extensive global network of specialized resources, a flexible staffing strategy, and superior project and program management to deliver high-quality support.

“The best part of working with Appen is their unique combination of enthusiasm, proactivity and linguistic and technical know-how.” – Remco van Veenendaal, project leader HLT Agency.