GALE Phase 4 Arabic Broadcast Conversation Speech

Item Name: GALE Phase 4 Arabic Broadcast Conversation Speech
Author(s): Kevin Walker, Christopher Caruso, Kazuaki Maeda, Denise DiPersio, Stephanie Strassel
LDC Catalog No.: LDC2017S15
ISBN: 1-58563-810-2
ISLRN: 805-236-402-881-0
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Member Year(s): 2017
DCMI Type(s): Sound
Sample Type: pcm
Sample Rate: 16000
Data Source(s): broadcast conversation
Project(s): GALE
Application(s): speech recognition
Language(s): Arabic, Standard Arabic
Language ID(s): ara, arb
License(s): LDC User Agreement for Non-Members
Online Documentation: LDC2017S15 Documents
Licensing Instructions: Subscription & Standard Members, and Non-Members
Citation: Walker, Kevin, et al. GALE Phase 4 Arabic Broadcast Conversation Speech LDC2017S15. Web Download. Philadelphia: Linguistic Data Consortium, 2017.

Introduction

GALE Phase 4 Arabic Broadcast Conversation Speech was developed by the Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC) and is comprised of approximately 75 hours of Arabic broadcast conversation speech collected in 2008 and 2009 by LDC, MediaNet, Tunis, Tunisia and MTC, Rabat, Morocco during Phase 4 of the DARPA GALE (Global Autonomous Language Exploitation) Program.

Corresponding transcripts are released as GALE Phase 4 Arabic Broadcast Conversation Transcripts (LDC2017T12).

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 (HKUST), Hong Kong (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.

Data

The broadcast conversation recordings in this release feature interviews, call-in programs and roundtable discussions focusing principally on current events from the following sources: Al Alam News Channel, based in Iran; Al Fayhaa, an Iraqi television channel; Al Hiwar, a regional broadcast station based in the United Kingdom; Alnurra, a U.S. government-funded regional broadcaster; Aljazeera, a regional broadcaster located in Doha, Qatar; Al Ordiniyah, a national broadcast station in Jordan; Dubai TV, a broadcast station in the United Arab Emirates; Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation, a Lebanese television station; Saudi TV, a national television station based in Saudi Arabia; Syria TV, the national television station in Syria; and Tunisian National TV, a national television station in Tunisia.

This release contains 83 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.

Samples

Please listen to this sample.

Updates

None at this time.

Acknowledgment

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.

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