Published on Tue Jun 06 2017

Acquisition of Translation Lexicons for Historically Unwritten Languages via Bridging Loanwords

Michael Bloodgood, Benjamin Strauss

With the advent of informal electronic communications such as social media,olloquial languages that were historically unwritten are being written for the first time in heavily code-switched environments. We investigate inducing a Moroccan Darija-English translation lexicon via French loanwords.

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Abstract

With the advent of informal electronic communications such as social media, colloquial languages that were historically unwritten are being written for the first time in heavily code-switched environments. We present a method for inducing portions of translation lexicons through the use of expert knowledge in these settings where there are approximately zero resources available other than a language informant, potentially not even large amounts of monolingual data. We investigate inducing a Moroccan Darija-English translation lexicon via French loanwords bridging into English and find that a useful lexicon is induced for human-assisted translation and statistical machine translation.