The goal of the NIST Language Recognition Evaluation (LRE) series is to establish the baseline of current performance capability for language recognition of conversational telephone speech and to lay the groundwork for further research efforts in the field.
An initial exploratory evaluation to gauge the state-of-the art in language recognition was conducted in 1996. At that time there was not enough focus to warrant frequent evaluations. In 2001 renew interest in this area called for a re-evaluation of the technology. It was not until 2003 that the evaluation infrastructure and data was in place for an evaluation. Since then the number of participants has continued to grow. The current plan is to have an evaluation every two years.