All kinds of Icelandic, please


Yesterday, Wednesday 26th of August, the campaign "Íslenska er allskonar" (All kinds of Icelandic) was launched. The campaign's organisers wish to reach people who have Icelandic as a second language and ask them to participate in the 'Samrómur' project.

 The campaign is launched to ensure that the devices specifically understand those who have Icelandic as a second language, as well as those who have Icelandic as their native language. Anyone who can read Icelandic can participate by going to the website where they are asked to read sentences in Icelandic out loud.

The purpose is to ensure that the electronic devices we talk to are able to understand everyone, including those who speak Icelandic with an accent. On Samrómur, voice samples are collected that will be used to teach computers and devices to understand Icelandic. 

How does Samró work?

Anyone who has access to a smartphone, computer or tablet can contribute their voice to the project. You open the website Samró and click on "Talk". Then, the website will display a sentence that you read aloud in a normal manner. After the reading, the recording goes into Samrómur's database.

Through a joint effort, it will be possible to create a database that is sufficient to support the development of language technology for Icelandic in the future. At the end of the collection, the database will be published under an open license (CC-BY-4), like all other language technology program products.

Those who want to develop solutions for the Icelandic language can use the database free of charge, for example for the Icelandic voice-guided interface in devices and tools, reading training, real-time subtitling of television material and real-time translation.

Wide base of support

Samrómur is part of Iceland's language technology program, Máltækniáætlun (the Icelandic language technology plan), the goal of which is to ensure that we can and will use Icelandic in communication with digital devices and computers.

Language technology refers to the collaboration of language and computer technology for practical purposes. Language technology aims to develop systems that can work with and understand human language, and promote their use in human-computer communication.

RU is a close collaborator

Samrómur is part of a language technology program developed in the summer of 2019 by Almannarómur, Deloitte and Reykjavík University, with a grant from the Student Innovation Fund.

Almannarómur is a centre for language technology and is responsible for implementing the language technology plan in accordance with an agreement with the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture from 2018. The plan is funded by the state budget. All solutions will be published under open licenses, to ensure that individuals, entrepreneurs and companies can use them for the benefit of the Icelandic nation. 

The research and development group SÍM (Cooperation on Icelandic Language Technology) is implementing the first and second phase of the language technology plan, in accordance with Almannarómur's agreement with the group. SÍM is run by Icelandic universities, institutions, companies and NGOs, which in the coming years will develop the necessary infrastructure for software that understands and speaks Icelandic.

First lady Eliza Reid launched the initative. Although she speaks Icelandic, she is herself not a native speaker.