Incremental Transfer in English-Japanese Machine Translation

Shigeki MATSUBARA  Yasuyoshi INAGAKI  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E80-D   No.11   pp.1122-1130
Publication Date: 1997/11/25
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science
machine translation,  incremental interpretation,  Japanese spoken language,  linguistic phenomena,  

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Since spontaneously spoken language expressions appear continuously, the transfer stage of a spoken language machine translation system have to work incrementally. In such the system, the high degree of incrementality is also strongly required rather than that of quality. This paper proposes an incremental machine translation system, which translates English spoken words into Japanese in accordance with the order of appearances of them. The system is composed of three modules: incremental parsing, transfer and generation, which work synchronously. The transfer module utilizes some features and phenomena characterizing Japanese spoken language: flexible wordorder, ellipses, repetitions and so forth. This in influenced by the observational facts that such characteristics frequently appear in Japanese uttered by English-Japanese interpreters. Their frequent utilization is the key to success of the exceedingly incremental translation between English and Japanese, which have different word-order. We have implemented a prototype system Sync/Trans, which parses English dialogues incrementally and generates Japanese immediately. To evaluate Sync/Trans we fave made an experiment with the conversations consisting of 27 dialogues and 218 sentences. 190 of the sentences are correct, providing a success rate of 87.2%. This result shows our incremental method to be a promising technique for spoken language translation with acceptable accuracy and high real-time nature.