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Speech technology helps to discover treasures of knowledge


The outcomes of the “transLectures” project: the video platform “” shows video lectures with automatic subtitles in five European languages – the project partner EML European Media Laboratory, Heidelberg/Germany, and the Institut Jozef Stefan, Ljubljana/Slovenia, will continue to make subtitles available in even more languages.

Courses, lectures and talks: On the internet, you can find a huge collection of educational video material - treasures of knowledge that are still waiting to be discovered and distributed. The EU funded research project “transLectures” has provided tools to help discovering these treasures.

"" provides video lectures with automatic subtitles in five European languages.

(Photo: MFG)

Universities, research institutions and companies from Spain, France, Slovenia, the UK, and Germany built a set of easy-to-use tools to add multilingual subtitles to educational video lectures. By these means, users can search, classify and analyze the videos much easier and make them accessible to a broad international audience, as well as to people with disabilities.

“transLectures” was co-ordinated by the Technical University of Valencia and funded by the EU with € 3.1 million. The Heidelberg-based EML European Media Laboratory implemented its speech recognition and transcription system to convert the audio automatically into text.

That way, more than 18.000 English and Slovenian lectures were automatically transcribed during the project, besides that also lectures in German, French, and Spanish language. The transcribed text appears as verbatim subtitles that can be activated with a “cc” button on the bottom of the video window. Moreover, many lectures were translated into other languages using machine translation tools.

The system is open and interactive. If necessary the user post-edits selected segments of the automatically created output to correct the subtitles. This helps to improve not only the referred subtitles but also future subtitle generation in the transLectures system.

At the end of the project the independent reviewers of the European Commission awarded the project an excellent overall evaluation. The educational videos with a topic range from astronomy to social sciences are available on the platform hosted by the project partner Institut Jozef Stefan (IJS), Ljubljana/Slovenia. EML and IJS intend to continue subtitling educational videos and enhancing the system, e.g. making it available in even more languages, like Chinese or Arabic. The first videos with Chinese subtitles are already online – waiting to be discovered.

Link to the platform:

Weitere Informationen: EML press release the "" platform. Website of the IJS Institute Joef Stefan, Ljubljana / Slovenia

Dr. Peter Saueressig | EML European Media Laboratory GmbH

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