Thursday, 08 September 2016 12:28

Linux scholarship winner aims to preserve ancient languages

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One of the winners of a scholarship from the Linux Foundation is involved in a project to preserve endangered South American languages, according to the Foundation.

Luis Camacho Caballero is aiming to port these languages to computer systems using automatic speech recognition. He will use Linux-based systems for the project.

Caballero, a Peruvian, was one of 14 It professionals to receive one of the 2016 scholarships.

He hopes to complete work on the first language, Quechua, which his grandparents spoke, by the end of 2017 and then begin work on other languages.

In an interview with the Foundation, Caballero said Quechua was used in the Andean region between the fifth and 16th centuries and had a close association with Inca culture.

The language is spoken by about eight million people in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia but is under threat of extinction because the only language supported by the governments in these countries in Spanish.

Caballero said he gotten involved in the project after being exposed to automatic speech recognition for English six years ago. " I knew that I had to do ASR for Quechua, it's my contribution to preserve my heritage," he said.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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