Multilingual speech processing; speech synthesis; speech recognition; speech-to-speech translation; language identiﬁcation.
In this paper, we describe recent work at Idiap Research Institute in the domain of multilingual speech processing and provide some insights into emerging challenges for the research community. Multilingual speech processing has been a topic of ongoing interest to the research community for many years and the ﬁeld is now receiving renewed interest owing to two strong driving forces. Firstly, technical advances in speech recognition and synthesis are posing new challenges and opportunities to researchers. For example, discriminative features are seeing wide application by the speech recognition community, but additional issues arise when using such features in a multilingual setting. Another example is the apparent convergence of speech recognition and speech synthesis technologies in the form of statistical parametric methodologies. This convergence enables the investigation of new approaches to uniﬁed modelling for automatic speech recognition and text-to-speech synthesis (TTS) as well as cross-lingual speaker adaptation for TTS. The second driving force is the impetus being provided by both government and industry for technologies to help break down domestic and international language barriers, these also being barriers to the expansion of policy and commerce. Speech-to-speech and speech-to-text translation are thus emerging as key technologies at the heart of which lies multilingual speech processing.