Judy Pearsall

One model, many languages? An approach to developing global language content


In 2015, Oxford Dictionaries launched the Oxford Global Languages (OGL) programme. OGL is an ambitious programme aimed at bringing lexical content online for 100 of the world’s languages and making it available to developers, consumers, licensees, and researchers for a wide variety of uses. From the outset, the vision was to pursue a single model for creating, editing, storing, and delivering content across different languages in order to create lexical content that was sustainable, flexible, and agnostic, as well as capable of being interlinked and interoperable. We will explain the approach we have taken to address this challenge, from Domain Modelling and the creation of a single data model, to the migration of content to a new platform and data format, to the lexical framework, lexicographical methodology, and training involved. We will present some of the challenges and issues we have faced and how successful we have been in tackling them so far. Finally we will look at what we have learned and the possible future of further extending a single model for both lexical and broader language content.

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