Fisher Spanish - Transcripts was developed by
LDC and contains full orthographic transcripts of the telephone
speech in Fisher
Spanish - Speech (LDC2010S01). Transcripts cover roughly 163
hours of telephone speech from 136 native Caribbean Spanish and
non-Caribbean Spanish speakers.
The Fisher telephone conversation collection protocol was created
at LDC to address a critical need of developers trying to build
robust automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems. Previous
collection protocols, such as CALLFRIEND and Switchboard-II and the
resulting corpora, have been adapted for ASR research but were in
fact developed for language and speaker identification respectively.
Although the CALLHOME protocol and corpora were developed to support
ASR technology, they feature small numbers of speakers making
telephone calls of relatively long duration with narrow vocabulary
across the collection. CALLHOME conversations are challengingly
natural and intimate. Under the Fisher protocol, a very large number
of participants each make a few calls of short duration speaking to
other participants, whom they typically do not know, about assigned
topics. This maximizes inter-speaker variation and vocabulary
breadth although it also increases formality.
Previous protocols such as CALLHOME, CALLFRIEND and Switchboard relied
upon participant activity to drive the collection. Fisher is unique in
being platform driven rather than participant driven. Participants who
wish to initiate a call may do so; however the collection platform
initiates the majority of calls. Participants need only answer their
phones at the times they specified when registering for the study.
To encourage a broad range of vocabulary, Fisher participants are
asked to speak on an assigned topic which is selected at random from a
list, which changes every 24 hours and which is assigned to all
subjects paired on that day. Some topics are inherited or refined from
previous Switchboard studies while others were developed specifically
for the Fisher protocol.
In collecting data for this corpus, attempts were made to provide a
representative distribution of subjects across a variety of
demographic categories including: gender, age, dialect region, and
This corpus joins other Fisher corpora: Arabic CTS Levantine
Fisher Training Data Set 3 (LDC2005S07,
Fisher English Training Part 2 (LDC2005S13,
Fisher English Training Speech Part 1 (LDC2004S13,
and Fisher Levantine Arabic Conversational Telephone Speech (LDC2007S02,
The transcript files are in plain-text, tab-delimited format (tdf) with UTF-8
character encoding. They were created with the LDC-developed transcription tool
allowed for improved handling of multi-channel audio and overlapping speakers.
XTrans is available from LDC.
Guidelines (NQTR), which are included with the documentation
for this release.
The first line of each transcript file provides the column headings; the next
two lines are "comments" that can be ignored (these are used by XTrans; they
are distinguished from non-comment lines by having an initial semicolon ";").
Actual transcript data, with time stamps, channel number, transcript text and
additional information, begins at line 4 of each transcript file.
Spanish - Speech (LDC2010S01) provides the digital audio used as
the basis for the transcriptions in this corpus, in the form of
2-channel mu-law sample data with 8000 samples per second (as
captured from the public telephone network), for 819 telephone
conversations of 10 to 12 minutes in duration. The audio files are
in NIST SPHERE format (1024-byte ASCII file headers).
Native speakers of Caribbean Spanish and non-Caribbean Spanish were
recruited from within the continental United States and Puerto
Rico. The following tables provide an overview of the demographics
of the participants. The Subjects Table file, provided in the
documentation, may be used to answer questions about specific
combinations of participant characteristics (including level of
Please examine this sample to see an example of the data in this corpus.
12/22/10 - The online documentation for this data now contains a new version of the "fsp_call.tbl", in which an extra
column has been included in each row to identify the topic number used in each call. A copy of the topic list in English is also available under fsp06_topics_in_english.txt.
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