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One Country, 700+ Languages: NLP Challenges for Underrepresented Languages and Dialects in Indonesia

Alham Fikri Aji
Genta Indra Winata
Fajri Koto
Samuel Cahyawijaya
Ade Romadhony
Rahmad Mahendra
Kemal Kurniawan
David Moeljadi
Radityo Eko Prasojo
Timothy Baldwin
Jey Han Lau
Sebastian Ruder
ACL 2022 (2022) (to appear)
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NLP research is impeded by a lack of resources and awareness of the challenges presented by languages and dialects beyond English. Focusing on the languages spoken in Indonesia, the second most linguistically diverse and the fourth most populous nation of the world, we provide an overview of the current state of NLP research for Indonesia's 700 languages. We highlight challenges in Indonesian NLP and how these affect the performance of current NLP systems. Finally, we provide general recommendations to help develop NLP technology for not only languages of Indonesia, but also other underrepresented languages.