Language Resources and Evaluation

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 271–288 | Cite as

The South African Human Language Technology Audit

  • Aditi Sharma GroverEmail author
  • Gerhard B. van Huyssteen
  • Marthinus W. Pretorius
Original Paper


Human language technology (HLT) has been identified as a priority area by the South African government. However, despite efforts by government and the research and development (R&D) community, South Africa has not yet been able to maximise the opportunities of HLT and create a thriving HLT industry. One of the key challenges is the fact that there is insufficient codified knowledge about the current South African HLT components, their attributes and existing relationships. Hence a technology audit was conducted for the South African HLT landscape, to create a systematic and detailed inventory of the status of the HLT components across the eleven official languages. Based on the Basic Language Resource Kit (BLaRK) framework Krauwer (ELRA Newslett 3(2), 1998), we used various data collection methods (such as focus groups, questionnaires and personal consultations with HLT experts) to gather detailed information. The South African HLT landscape is analysed using a number of complementary approaches and based on the interpretations of the results, recommendations are made on how to accelerate HLT development in South Africa, as well as on how to conduct similar audits in other countries and contexts.


Technology audit Human language technology Language resources BLaRK Language audit Language resource infrastructure Resource-scarce languages 



The Department of Science and Technology of the South African Government is acknowledged hereby for financial support of the SAHLTA. We would also like to express our gratitude to anonymous reviewers for their detailed feedback. All fallacies remain ours.

Supplementary material

10579_2011_9151_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (705 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 704 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aditi Sharma Grover
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Gerhard B. van Huyssteen
    • 3
  • Marthinus W. Pretorius
    • 2
  1. 1.Human Language Technology Research GroupMeraka Institute, CSIRPretoriaSouth Africa
  2. 2.Graduate School of Technology ManagementUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa
  3. 3.Centre for Text Technology (CTexT)North-West UniversityPotchefstroomSouth Africa

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