Mining Wikidata for Name Resources for African Languages

1 Apr 2021  ·  Jonne Sälevä, Constantine Lignos ·

This work supports further development of language technology for the languages of Africa by providing a Wikidata-derived resource of name lists corresponding to common entity types (person, location, and organization). While we are not the first to mine Wikidata for name lists, our approach emphasizes scalability and replicability and addresses data quality issues for languages that do not use Latin scripts. We produce lists containing approximately 1.9 million names across 28 African languages. We describe the data, the process used to produce it, and its limitations, and provide the software and data for public use. Finally, we discuss the ethical considerations of producing this resource and others of its kind.

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