The Institute of Estonian Language joined the Adapter network
- 07. April 2021
The Institute of Estonian Language joined the Adapter network on the 18th of March. Now, the cooperation network of Estonian universities and research and development institutions includes 18 research institutions and more than 3,500 research experts.
The Institute of the Estonian Language (EKI) has several important tasks. The most well-known of them are certainly the compilation of dictionaries of the Estonian language that are important for the national culture and free public language advice (incl. name and term advice). In addition, national coordination of terminology work and language technological developments, services for people with special needs, e-services for language learners and the collection and development of language archives. The institute is responsible for ensuring the norm of the Estonian written language and provides expert assessments of names and organizes targeted research on place names.
“We decided to join the Adapter network because we value the cooperation between research institutions and companies. Together we can create better science-based communication and implementation and raise society’s awareness of what is happening in language use and science,” Riin Kikkas, who is the development manager, specifies.
Different opportunities for cooperation
She adds that language is the memory of society, providing science-based information about our past. Due to the changes in society, language is constantly evolving and renewing. “Thus, through the Adapter, we can become more widely and effectively aware of what is happening in the field of language and support companies’ better self-expression, and also offer other research institutions a helping hand in terminology.”
The Institute of Estonian Language is involved in several programs and international networks of national importance. “Our researchers are represented as specialists in their field on various councils. Today, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Research, we are coordinating the national program Estonian Language Technology 2018-2027. We are also a leading partner in the project of creating public sector machine translation technology. Among the cooperation with private companies, we must mention the development of the dictionary and term base system Ekilex and the user interface Sõnaveeb, which is based on it and is developed together with OÜ TripleDev,” Kikkas explains.
Cooperation is also taking place in other areas. Namely, a new Estonian joint corpus is created every two years together with SketchEngine, on the basis of which, changes in the Estonian vocabulary are monitored and registered. EKI has helped several companies to introduce speech synthesis. “Thanks to the cooperation, subtitles are read aloud on ETV channels, you can listen to study texts on the Opiq platform and newspapers can offer the choice of reading out the articles,” Kikkas noted.
Speaking of various cooperation opportunities, the institute is interested in contacts with potential users of language technology solutions in the private sector.
“We have developed services for people with special needs (e.g. speech synthesis, sign language dictionary). We conduct and carry out various researches in the service of speech technology applications (speech styles, sentence prosody, phonological variation and emotional speech). On a daily basis, we assist and advise all those who turn to us in compiling tools to support language learning,” Kikkas said.
And stated that language trainings on various topics are offered to the private and public sectors and all other interested parties. However, these are just a few examples of the Institute’s broad-based and sector-specific activities.
Contact research and development institutions
Through Adapter.ee, the private and public sector, including private individuals, can turn to universities and research institutions. They can ask for advice on how to use research-based solutions in the development of products or services, i.e. to contact all 18 Adapter partners at once. The request is free for everyone and the answer will be received within five working days. The Adapter page also provides information on research services, support opportunities and in-service training offered by research institutions. More information on adapter.ee.
Kaja Liivak, Co-author of Adapter.ee