Creating intentional space for discussion in communities helps to build mutual understanding and facilitate future collaboration.

In September, we started our search for Common Voice language Rep Council members through an open call. The goal of the council is to:

  • Create an explicit avenue for representatives of language communities to advocate for their language community’s needs
  • Empower contributors and language communities with knowledge and influence to shape the community experience

We received 34 applications from languages including Welsh, Basaa, Catalan and Filipino. It was inspiring to read about people’s motivations for joining the council. To introduce the members of the council, I asked members to share their thoughts on the question; Why is Common Voice important to you?

Here are some of their responses, mostly written in their languages and with English translations.

Joan Montané, Catalan

“El projecte Common Voice facilita que la comunitat de parlants participi en la creació de recursos lingüístics lliures.”

“The Common Voice project makes it easier for the speaker's community to participate in the creation of open linguistic resources.”

Irvin Chen, Chinese

“集眾人之力,Common Voice 計畫致力於建立世界最完整的開放語音庫,將會改變機器跟人們的溝通與互動體驗”

“Together, we are dedicated to building the world’s most complete open voices database. Common Voice project will change machines and people’s communication and interaction experience.”

Huber, Guranai

“Common Voice rupive oñemog̃uahẽ guarani ñe'ẽhárape tembiporu porãite oguerekóva ambue ñe'ẽ ojeporu hag̃ua tembiporu pyahu (techapyrã pumbyry ha mohendaha) iñe'ẽtépe ha péicha rupi oñeme'ẽ juruja okakuaa hag̃ua guarani ha iñe'ẽhárape.”

“Common Voice brings to speakers of Guarani a tool to use new technologies in their own language and therefore provides opportunities to grow to the speakers and their language.”

Robert “Bob” Reyes, Filipino

“Ang Common Voice ay isa sa mga pinakamadaling paraan upang makilahok at makiambag sa Mozilla, at para sanayin ang mga algorithm na pang machine learning sa open source na pamamaraan.”

“Common Voice is one of the easiest ways for people of all backgrounds to participate and contribute to Mozilla, and to train machine learning algorithms in an open source manner.”

Wim Benes, Frisian

“Common Voice bringt de Fryske taal nei de takomst. Mei de CC0-lisinsje, kin elkenien it Frysk tafoegje oan de lêste apps foar spraaktechnology of it brûke yn akademyske ûndersiken.”

“Common Voice boosts the Frisian language into the future. By the CC0-license, anyone is able to add Frisian to the latest apps for speech technology or use it in academic research.”

Confident Niyizibyose, Ikinyarwanda

“Umushinga wa Common Voice (Ijwi rusange) utuma ikinyarwanda gisakara ku isi hose bimpa icyizere ko hatari kera tuzaba dufite n’ibikoresho by’ikoranabuhanga nka mudasobwa cyangwa telefoni zishobora gukoresha ururimi rwacu.”

“The Common Voice project spread Kinyarwanda worldwide which gives me confidence that soon we will have laptops and phones that support our language.”

Stefania Delprete, Italian

“Common Voice offre l'opportunità di far parte ad un magnifico progetto collaborativo, condividendo un sempre più esteso dataset per tutti e creato da tutti collegato al presente tema del riconoscimento vocale.”

“Common Voice offers the opportunity to be part of a magnificent collaborative project, sharing an increasingly extensive dataset for all and created by all connected to the very present topic of speech recognition.”

Jonathan Mukiibi, Luganda

“Common Voice egonza okuteekawo kw’etterekero ly’emboozi n’amaloboozi erikiikirira olulimi ekintu ekikulu ennyo bwetuba nga tuli baakuzimba tekinologiya w’amaloboozi akolera buli omu mu lulimi Oluganda.”

“Common Voice makes it easier to create a representative text and voice dataset which is very important if we are to build inclusive voice technologies in Luganda.”

Atukunda Gift, Runyankole

“Common Voice n'ehwera kutaho ekitereko ky'amaraka nebigambo byengamba, emyaka n'obuhangwa butarikushushana. Eki nikikuru omu tekinologiya y'okwegyesa kompyuta kumanya empindahinduka y'orunyankole kandi ekakora ebihikire.”

“Common Voice helps to create a dataset that caters for voices with various accents, age groups and gender. This is essential in machine learning where models can identify the variations in Runyankole and still respond effectively.”

Sardana Ivanova, Sakha

“Саҥа — улахан суолталаах.”

“Speech is important.”

Bülent Özden, Turkish

“Common Voice ses verisini kapitalist yapıların elinden alıp halka ve bilim insanlarına açarak bilime ve gelişime katkıda bulunmakta; herkesin teknoloji ile kendi dilinde iletişim kurmasını sağlamaktadır.”

“Common Voice contributes to science and development by taking the voice data from capitalist structures and opening it to the public and scientists, and enables everyone to communicate with technology in their own language.”

Dewi Jones, Welsh

“Mae Common Voice yn hanfodol at wireddu ac ymledu adnabod lleferydd Cymraeg i bob math o ddatblygiad technolegol. Nid yn unig y data o dan drwydded CC-0 sy’n bwysig ond hefyd natur rhannu’r project gyda’r cymunedau ieithyddol.”

“Common voice is essential for realising and introducing Welsh speech recognition into all forms of technological development. Not only is the dataset with CC-0 licensing important but also sharing the project with language communities.”

Bahtiyor Hasanov, Uzbek

I believe that having a speech-to-text dataset open will help to create innovation. I dream of a day when children will be taught in school by AI computers. Making the dataset open with Common Voice should help to make this dream come true.

Other members of the Language Reps Council

  • Maaike, Dutch
  • Ruba, Arabic
  • Opeyemi, Yoruba
  • Christophe, French
  • Mishari, Thai
  • Elizabeth, Armenian
  • Kevin, Swahili
  • Mulent, Kabyle
  • Ilnar, Tatar
  • Vladislav, Belaursian
  • Pranjal, Gujarati
  • Emmanuel, Basaa

What do Common Voice Language reps do ?

Each month, the Common Voice Language Reps gather across the globe virtually. In our sessions we discuss; cross-communal issues such as sentence collection requirements for language activation on common voice, key proposals from the team such as the new languages, accent and variants proposals and opportunities for collaboration.

How could I get involved ?

Our first cohort runs for 9 months, we will be opening spots for languages that are currently not represented in the council in February.

You can reach out to your language rep via our community platforms such as common voice element chat. Ask for their name and we can connect you.

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