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Revolutionary Speech Recognition System to be Adapted to Catalan

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By ErinRose Widner - Thursday, June 19, 2008

For Immediate Release:
Versión lingüística de Cataluña

ErinRose Widner
Executive Director, Corp. Multimedia SDI Media Group

 Revolutionary Speech Recognition System to be Adapted to Catalan


SDI Media Group Joins Forces with Fundacio Terra to Collect a Wide Representation of Catalan Voices to Help the Environment

CATALUNYA, Barcelona. - 19, June, 2008- (PRAvenueNW) SDI Media Group, the world’s leading multimedia localization company today launched a special project to raise Catalan speech recognition technology to a whole new level, and in the process, help benefit Fundacio Terra. This groundbreaking initiative offers Catalan, Valencian, and Balearic  citizens a unique opportunity not only to spur technological innovation but also to raise environmental awareness.

Rewarded cooperation
More than 2000 male and female voice samples are necessary to adapt Microsoft’s speech recognition technology to the Catalan, Valencian, and Balearic languages. The collection of voice data recordings is done over the phone and people interested in participating can sign up at If eligible, each participant will be able to place two phone calls to one of the provided toll-free numbers. By successfully completing these two calls, each participant will be awarded €20, which they can either keep or instantly donate to Fundacio Terra, one of Cataluna’s most respected non-profit organizations.

Speech recognition technology converts spoken words into computer commands. “This exciting technology with applications in a wide range of fields, from job training to health care, will be pivotal in improving the lives of people with certain disabilities as it empowers users to interact with computer systems by voice alone,” said Brad Crystal, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Corporate Multimedia for SDI Media Group.

“We are delighted to be working with Microsoft to help advance the state of the art in speech recognition technology, which will ultimately benefit consumers, businesses, and government agencies worldwide,” said Crystal.

“We are facing a big challenge as we only have one month to produce the 2000 voice samples, but Catalan, Valencian, and Balearic citizens are very engaged with their community and I am confident that by the end of June we will have met our goal,” said Crystal. “By becoming an active participant in the development of this technology, participants will be doing something that not only benefits them as individuals, but will also have a positive impact on society.”

Since 1936, considerable effort has been made to develop speech recognition technology for English-language use. However, development for the Catalan, Valencian, and Balaeric languages has not been as extensive. This project will play a significant part in addressing that imbalance, with the goal of enabling Catalan, Valencian, and Balearic speakers to experience new ways of interacting with technology.

For more information about this project, visit the website at

Notes to Editors    

About Fundacio Terra

Fundacio Terra is one of Cataluna's premier nonprofit environmental organizations.  

Headquarted in Barcelona, Fundacio Terra has been providing information on legislative, technical, environmental, health, and consumer issues since 1994.

Fundacio Terra uses the power of awareness to protect our environment. By making knowledge readily available to the Catalan community through the publication of a series of Environmental Education & Management Guides both in Catalan and Spanish, Fundacio Terra has been able to promote the usage of alternative energy sources, while encouraging the community to embrace a new socio-ecological ethic.  
For more information about Fundacio Terra, visit the website

About SDI Media Group

SDI Media Group is headquartered in Los Angeles and counts the world’s leading media and entertainment companies among its extensive client list. SDI is the only company of its kind with subtitling and dubbing operations in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, operating in 29 countries worldwide including regional hubs in London, Copenhagen, Mexico City, and Hong Kong.  SDI Media translates movies, TV shows, interactive games, and other multimedia content in more than 60 languages.  

For more information about SDI Media Group, visit the website at

Versión lingüística de Cataluña




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