When linguistics and IT meet: BabelNet workshop at the EP

March 7, 2016 1:01 pm

The BabelNet workshop was a huge success with more than 150 people attending it on the 2nd and 3rd of March in the Schuman Building’s Hemicycle in Luxembourg.

Although most of the participants were from European institutions, the event saw people with the most diverse backgrounds.

Sheltering the guests from the freezing Luxembourgish rain, the welcoming conference room – the first plenary chamber of the European Parliament – hosted a range of speakers who guided the audience through the main aspects of the largest multilingual encyclopaedic dictionary and semantic network.

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Photo by Maria Bregolato

The first day, after a general introduction about the project, was more of a “technical tour”, including industrial applications of BabelNet, while the second day featured the discussion of case studies of resource mapping to BabelNet, including talks related to EU projects such as IATE and EUROVOC, and how they could benefit from the mapping. The whole workshop schedule is available here.

The main speakers throughout the workshop were Roberto Navigli (the founder) and Claudio Delli Bovi from La Sapienza University of Rome, and Asunción Gómez Pérez from Madrid’s UPM. There were also guest speakers from European institutions, such as Rodolfo Maslias who talked about the EP’s Glossary Links project (.ppt here).

The participants’ involvement and curiosity were evident as they asked plenty of questions related to the topics discussed over the two days.

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But what exactly is BabelNet, and how does it work? The multilingual semantic network consists of concepts and named entities, all connected in a huge network of relations. Each entry represents a meaning and contains all its synonyms in different languages. In fact, BabelNet covers 271 languages and offers a tool to quickly translate meanings into each one of them. In order to do so, it is automatically integrated with the main web lexicons and encyclopaedias, such as WordNet and Wikipedia. The web interface, very user-friendly, consists of a tool to look up terms, translations and definitions.

More information about BabelNet available here.

All the presentations submitted during the Workshop are available here.

And below, the Storify story of the event:

Written by Silvia Morani
Communication Trainee at TermCoord

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