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Processing South Asian languages written in the Latin script: the Dakshina dataset

Lawrence Wolf-Sonkin
Christo Kirov
Sabrina J. Mielke
Keith Hall
Proceedings of the 12th Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC) (2020), 2413–2423


This paper describes the Dakshina dataset, a new resource consisting of text in both the Latin and native scripts for 12 South Asian languages. The dataset includes, for each language: 1) native script Wikipedia text; 2) a romanization lexicon; and 3) full sentence parallel data in both a native script of the language and the basic Latin alphabet. We document the methods used for preparation and selection of the Wikipedia text in each language; collection of attested romanizations for sampled lexicons; and manual romanization of held-out sentences from the native script collections. We additionally provide baseline results on several tasks made possible by the dataset, including single word transliteration, full sentence transliteration, and language modeling of native script and romanized text.