GALE Phase 2 Arabic Broadcast News Speech Part 1

Item Name: GALE Phase 2 Arabic Broadcast News Speech Part 1
Author(s): Kevin Walker, Christopher Caruso, Kazuaki Maeda, Denise DiPersio, Stephanie Strassel
LDC Catalog No.: LDC2014S07
ISBN: 1-58563-687-8
ISLRN: 705-070-804-202-2
Release Date: August 15, 2014
Member Year(s): 2014
DCMI Type(s): Sound
Sample Type: pcm
Sample Rate: 1600
Data Source(s): broadcast news
Project(s): GALE
Application(s): speech recognition
Language(s): Standard Arabic
Language ID(s): arb
License(s): LDC User Agreement for Non-Members
Online Documentation: LDC2014S07 Documents
Licensing Instructions: Subscription & Standard Members, and Non-Members
Citation: Walker, Kevin, et al. GALE Phase 2 Arabic Broadcast News Speech Part 1 LDC2014S07. Web Download. Philadelphia: Linguistic Data Consortium, 2014.
Related Works: View


GALE Phase 2 Arabic Broadcast News Speech Part 1 was developed by the Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC) and is comprised of approximately 165 hours of Arabic broadcast news speech collected in 2006 and 2007 by LDC, MediaNet, Tunis, Tunisia and MTC, Rabat, Morocco during Phase 2 of the DARPA GALE (Global Autonomous Language Exploitation) Program.

Corresponding transcripts are released as GALE Phase 2 Arabic Broadcast News Transcripts Part 1 (LDC2014T17).

Broadcast audio for the GALE program was collected at LDC’s Philadelphia, PA USA facilities and at three remote collection sites: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong King (Chinese), Medianet (Tunis, Tunisia) (Arabic), and MTC (Rabat, Morocco) (Arabic). The combined local and outsourced broadcast collection supported GALE at a rate of approximately 300 hours per week of programming from more than 50 broadcast sources for a total of over 30,000 hours of collected broadcast audio over the life of the program.

LDC’s local broadcast collection system is highly automated, easily extensible and robust and capable of collecting, processing and evaluating hundreds of hours of content from several dozen sources per day. The broadcast material is served to the system by a set of free-to-air (FTA) satellite receivers, commercial direct satellite systems (DSS) such as DirecTV, direct broadcast satellite (DBS) receivers, and cable television (CATV) feeds. The mapping between receivers and recorders is dynamic and modular. All signal routing is performed under computer control, using a 256x64 A/V matrix switch. Programs are recorded in a high bandwidth A/V format and are then processed to extract audio, to generate keyframes and compressed audio/video, to produce time-synchronized closed captions (in the case of North American English) and to generate automatic speech recognition (ASR) output. An overview of the system, the sources recorded and the configuration of the recording laboratory are contained in the Guidelines for Broadcast Audio Collection Version 3.0 included in this release.

LDC designed a portable platform for remote broadcast collection. This is a TiVO-style digital video recording (DVR) system that records two streams of A/V material simultaneously. It supports analog CATV (NTSC and PAL) and FTA DVB-S satellite programming and can operate outside of the United States. It has a small footprint, weighs less than 30 pounds and can be transported as carry-on luggage.

Medianet collected Arabic programming from across the Gulf region using its internal system and LDC's portable broadcast collection platform installed in 2008. The portable platform deployed at the Medianet Tunisian collection facility collected multiple streams of regional Arabic programming from various sources. MTC collected Arabic programming using its internal collection system.


The broadcast recordings in this release feature news programs focusing principally on current events from the following sources: Abu Dhabi TV, a televisions station based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Al Alam News Channel, based in Iran; Alhurra, a U.S. government-funded regional broadcaster; Aljazeera, a regional broadcaster located in Doha, Qatar; Dubai TV, a broadcast station in the United Arab Emirates; Al Iraqiyah, an Iraqi television station; Kuwait TV, a national broadcast station in Kuwait; Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation, a Lebanese television station; Nile TV, a broadcast programmer based in Egypt; Saudi TV, a national television station based in Saudi Arabia; and Syria TV, the national television station in Syria.

This release contains 200 audio files presented in FLAC-compressed Waveform Audio File format (.flac), 16000 Hz single-channel 16-bit PCM. Each file was audited by a native Arabic speaker following Audit Procedure Specification Version 2.0 which is included in this release. The broadcast auditing process served three principal goals: as a check on the operation of the broadcast collection system equipment by identifying failed, incomplete or faulty recordings; as an indicator of broadcast schedule changes by identifying instances when the incorrect program was recorded; and as a guide for data selection by retaining information about a program’s genre, data type and topic.


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This work was supported in part by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, GALE Program Grant No. HR0011-06-1-0003. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the Government, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

Content Copyright

Portions © 2007 Abu Dhabi TV, © 2007 Al Alam News Channel, © 2007 Al Iraqiyah, © 2006-2007 Aljazeera, © 2007 Dubai TV, © 2007 Kuwait TV, © 2007 Nile TV, © 2006-2007 PAC Ltd, © 2006 Saudi TV, © 2007 Syria TV, © 2006-2007, 2011, 2014 Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania

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