CTexT® | Potchefstroom Campus


Centre for Text Technology (CTexT®)


Tribute to a friend and colleague: Martin Schlemmer

It is with the deepest sadness and regret that the Centre for Text Technology (CTexT®) bids farewell to a beloved and cherished friend and colleague, Martin Schlemmer. After a short illness, Martin (36) passed away on Tuesday, 16 September 2014. He was more than a colleague; he also formed close friendships at CTexT®. His support, loyalty, and willingness to assist will always be remembered.

Since Martin started working here in 2007, he took on an indispensable role in almost every project. His door was always open when programming problems had you at your wit’s end. The most important parts of Martin’s legacy to the community was the Department of Arts and Culture’s spelling checkers for all indigenous South African languages as well as the Microsoft spelling checkers and lexicons for at least 14 languages in Africa; his expertise and hard work ensured the completion and maintenance of these products - used every day and around the world. He was also the primary system developer of the first Afrikaans grammar checkers. Moreover he worked as lead programmer in a variety of projects that still impacts upon language technology in South Africa. Some of these are the Lara annotation environment, the software used by the Resource Management Agency (RMA), as well as software and resources used by the Language Commission for the compilation of the Afrikaanse Woordelys en Spelreëls. He also played a pivotal role in the planning and implementation of the Virtuele Instituut vir Afrikaans (VivA).

Martin’s stoep-chats, opinions on everything, and wry sense of humour will be dearly missed but never forgotten.

Our deepest sympathy and prayers are with his parents, family, and
friends in this sad and difficult time.


CTexT® celebrates ten years

CTexT employees
Dekor Prof R Letsosa

On the 8th of August 2014 the Centre for Text Technology (CTexT®) at the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, celebrated their tenth anniversary – a decade’s contribution to cutting-edge research and development in the field of text technology. The function was held at the NWU Sports Village in Potchefstroom, where CTexT® staff, NWU top management, former employees, partners and supporters of CTexT® enjoyed a warm welcome.

CTexT® is an internationally recognised, innovative research- and development centre for language resources, products and software. CTexT® focuses on the development of applications and resources for easier interaction between people and computers (e.g. spelling and grammar checkers, machine translation systems and data development) and innovative approaches to processing natural languages. Read more

About Us

The Centre for Text Technology (CTexT®) is a research and development centre at the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University. CTexT does research on human language technology and develops language technology products for the South African languages.

Human language technology makes the interaction between people and machines (computers) easier by allowing people to communicate with computers in natural languages (our normal languages such as isiZulu or Afrikaans). It also teaches computers to understand and produce human language (speech and text), so people can have access to new technologies in the language of their choice.

CTexT’s four main activities are:

  • Research;
  • Development;
  • Commercialisation of products and services; and
  • Maintenance of products and support to end-users/clients.

CTexT’s focus areas (within the field of human language technology in South Africa) are:

  • Resource-scarce languages (especially South African languages for which little data exists);
  • Development of applications and resources for easier interaction between people and computers (e.g. spelling and grammar checkers, machine translation systems and data development); and
  • Innovative approaches to processing natural languages.


Worth a look

Interactive Vowel Chart:

Prof. Daan Wissing (Senior Researcher and expert in the field of phonetics and phonology) and Wikus Pienaar of CTexT recently developed an interactive vowel chart.

Click on the above screenshot to view the vowel chart.



Quick links


Proofing tools for Microsoft® Office.



Integrated Translation Environment:
(Open source)



Language Resource Management Agency: Website

Newsletter 5 RMA