As our main concern is language, the situation of spoken language resources is assessed on a per language basis. This does not correspond exactly to the situation on a per country basis, as several countries may contribute resources to the development of the same language (for example, Belgium, Switzerland and France all have French linguistic resources), or one country may contribute resources for several languages (Switzerland may contribute to French or German, and the UK has produced the Oxford Acoustic Phonetic database which contains spoken data for several European languages).
While ideally all the European languages should be adequately represented, it is clear that from a commercial standpoint the importance of a language depends on the potential market demand. While in the European market all European languages are of potential interest, large companies tend to prefer English, German, French, Italian and Spanish. This leaves an even stronger need for multilingual EEC initiatives in this domain which can pay attention to the under-represented European languages, as in at least the immediate future such needs cannot not be expected to be filled by industrial demand.
To aid in assessing the current situation in Europe, we provide guidelines on characterising the spoken language resources, and then summarise the main speech resources in Europe and identify the respective actors in their production.