The GlobalPhone corpus developed in collaboration with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) was designed to provide read speech data for the development and evaluation of large continuous speech recognition systems in the most widespread languages of the world, and to provide a uniform, multilingual speech and text database for language independent and language adaptive speech recognition as well as for language identification tasks. The entire GlobalPhone corpus enables the acquisition of acoustic-phonetic knowledge of the following 20 spoken languages: Arabic (ELRA-S0192), Bulgarian (ELRA-S0319), Chinese-Mandarin (ELRA-S0193), Chinese-Shanghai (ELRA-S0194), Croatian (ELRA-S0195), Czech (ELRA-S0196), French (ELRA-S0197), German (ELRA-S0198), Hausa (ELRA-S0347), Japanese (ELRA-S0199), Korean (ELRA-S0200), Polish (ELRA-S0320), Portuguese (Brazilian) (ELRA-S0201), Russian (ELRA-S0202), Spanish (Latin America) (ELRA-S0203), Swedish (ELRA-S0204), Tamil (ELRA-S0205), Thai (ELRA-S0321), Turkish (ELRA-S0206), Vietnamese (ELRA-S0322). In each language about 100 sentences were read from each of the 100 speakers. The read texts were selected from national newspapers available via Internet to provide a large vocabulary (up to 65,000 words). The read articles cover national and international political news as well as economic news. The speech is available in 16bit, 16kHz mono quality, recorded with a close-speaking microphone (Sennheiser 440-6) and same recording equipment for all languages. The transcriptions are internally validated and supplemented by special markers for spontaneous effects like stuttering, false starts, and non-verbal effects like laughing and hesitations. Speaker information like age, gender, occupation, etc. as well as information about the recording setup complement the database. The entire GlobalPhone corpus contains over 450 hours of speech spoken by more than 1900 native adult speakers. Data is shortened by means of the shorten program written by Tony Robinson, available from Softsound's web page: http://www.softsound.com/ linux distributions, or simulated versions such as cygwin. Alternatively, the data could be delivered unshorten. The Japanese corpus was produced using the Nikkei Shinbun newspaper. It contains recordings of 149 speakers (104 males, 44 females, 1 unspecified) recorded in Tokyo, Japan. The following age distribution has been obtained: 22 speakers are below 19, 90 speakers are between 20 and 29, 5 speakers are between 30 and 39, 2 speakers are between 40 and 49, and 28 speakers are over 50 (2 speakers age is unknown).