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The GlobalPhone corpus developed in collaboration with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) was designed to provide read speech data for the development and evaluation of large continuous speech recognition systems in the most widespread languages of the world, and to provide a uniform, multilingual speech and text database for language independent and language adaptive speech recognition as well as for language identification tasks.
The entire GlobalPhone corpus enables the acquisition of acoustic-phonetic knowledge of the following 20 spoken languages: Arabic (ELRA-S0192), Bulgarian (ELRA-S0319), Chinese-Mandarin (ELRA-S0193), Chinese-Shanghai (ELRA-S0194), Croatian (ELRA-S0195), Czech (ELRA-S0196), French (ELRA-S0197), German (ELRA-S0198), Hausa (ELRA-S0347), Japanese (ELRA-S0199), Korean (ELRA-S0200), Polish (ELRA-S0320), Portuguese (Brazilian) (ELRA-S0201), Russian (ELRA-S0202), Spanish (Latin America) (ELRA-S0203), Swedish (ELRA-S0204), Tamil (ELRA-S0205), Thai (ELRA-S0321), Turkish (ELRA-S0206), Vietnamese (ELRA-S0322).
In each language about 100 sentences were read from each of the 100 speakers. The read texts were selected from national newspapers available via Internet to provide a large vocabulary (up to 65,000 words). The read articles cover national and international political news as well as economic news. The speech is available in 16bit, 16kHz mono quality, recorded with a close-speaking microphone (Sennheiser 440-6) and same recording equipment for all languages. The transcriptions are internally validated and supplemented by special markers for spontaneous effects like stuttering, false starts, and non-verbal effects like laughing and hesitations. Speaker information like age, gender, occupation, etc. as well as information about the recording setup complement the database. The entire GlobalPhone corpus contains over 450 hours of speech spoken by more than 1900 native adult speakers.
Data is shortened by means of the shorten program written by Tony Robinson, available from Softsound's web page: http://www.softsound.com/ linux distributions, or simulated versions such as cygwin. Alternatively, the data could be delivered unshorten.
The Bulgarian part of GlobalPhone was collected in 2005 in the cities of Sofia and Pazardzhik, Bulgaria. All speakers are Bulgarian native speakers from the west and central part of Bulgaria. Data was collected from 77 speakers in total, of which 45 were female and 32 were male. The majority of speakers are well educated, being graduated students, construction engineers, and teachers. The age distribution of the speakers ranges from 18 to 65 years. Of all speakers, 62 reported to be non-smokers, 15 are smokers, no further information about health status is provided. Each speaker read on average about 112 utterances from newspaper articles, corresponding to roughly 16.6 minutes of speech or 1940 words per person, in total we recorded 8674 utterances. The speech was recorded using a close-talking microphone Sennheiser HM420 in a push-to-talk scenario using an inhouse developed modern laptop-based data collection toolkit. All data were recorded at 16kHz and 16bit resolution in PCM format. The data collection took place in small-sized rooms with low background noise, while one speaker was recorded in a public place. Information on recording place and environmental noise conditions are provided in a separate speaker session file for each speaker. The text data used for recording mainly came from the news posted in online editions of three national Bulgarian newspaper websites as listed below. About 350 articles with more than 10,000 sentences were downloaded and processed (manually edited to normalize and clean the text, resolve abbreviations and numbers). We followed the standard GlobalPhone protocols and focused on national and international politics and economics news (see [SCHULTZ 2002]). In sum, 8674 utterances were spoken, corresponding to 21.4 hours of speech or 150,000 spoken words in total, covering a vocabulary of 23,000 words. The transcriptions are provided in Bulgarian script (Cyrillic) in UTF-8 encoding. The Bulgarian data are organized in a training set of 63 speakers, a development set of 7 speakers (spk IDs 051, 055, 058, 084, 090, 100, 106), and an evaluation set of 7 speakers (spk IDs 040, 059, 063, 068, 095, 109, 110).
Bulgarian Newspaper sources:
[Mircheva 2006] Aneliya Mircheva (2006): Bulgarian Speech Recognition and Multilingual Language Modeling, Project Term (Studienarbeit), Institute for Theoretical Informatics, University Karlsruhe.
[Schultz 2002] Tanja Schultz (2002): GlobalPhone: A Multilingual Speech and Text Database developed at Karlsruhe University, Proceedings of the International Conference of Spoken Language Processing, ICSLP 2002, Denver, CO, September 2002.
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