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Contact Information

Name: Ngadou Yopa Sylvestre Ronald

Display name: Ngadou Yopa

Location: Malingo Street, Buea, Cameroon

E-mail: (

IRC: math-alpha (m-alpha)

GitHub: math-alpha

Gitlab: mathematic-alpha

Telegram: @ngadou


Time Zone: UTC +1:00 (Central Africa)

School/Degree: B.Eng. in Computer Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Buea, Cameroon Expected Graduation Year: December 2021

Why is it I am interested in machine translation?

A language is a method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way. For a community to integrate into this evolving world, it needs an interface to communicate with other cultures. I study computer engineering and I am highly interested in AI and mathematics. Machine translation is one of the branches of these sciences hence my interest.

Why is it that I am interested in Apertium?

Apertium is an open source rule-based Machine Translation project and one of the very rare organizations working on NLP. I highly appreciate the community and developers who are doing great work in machine translation.

  • Because Apertium is free/open-source software.
  • Because its community is strongly committed to under-resourced and minoritised/marginalised languages.
  • Because there is a lot of good work done and being done in it.
  • Because it is not only machine translation, but also free resources that can be used for other purposes: e.g. dictionaries, morphological analysers, spellcheckers, etc.

Which of the published tasks are you interested in? What do you plan to do?

Adopt an unreleased language pair: I'd like to develop the pairs Mə̀dʉ̂mbɑ̀-Français which is actually in the nursery plus a minimal user interface.

My proposal


Adopt an unreleased language pair with a minimal user interface

Major goals

  • Improving the Mə̀dʉ̂mbɑ̀-Français language pair up to 91 % of publicly available Mə̀dʉ̂mbɑ̀ corpus
    • Mə̀dʉ̂mbɑ̀ to Français
    • Français to Mə̀dʉ̂mbɑ̀
  • Developing a minimal interface for adding words and transfer rules

The rationale for proposing a GUI is to encourage more people to get involved since most people i meet are not very comfortable with terminal and all the rest.

During the post-application period, I plan to study in more detail the apertium-ambiguous package. I will also learn more about developing applications on the GitHub platform. My current perception is that for the limited time of the GSoC it is better to invest in developing what might serve as basis to bring more non-technical contributors while showing a case study.

Reasons why Google and Apertium should sponsor it

As mentioned above, the Apertium community is strongly committed to under-resourced and minoritised/marginalised languages and Google helps its own way via programs like GSoC and GCI. There exist many local cultural movements in Africa with the goal of developing language and opening to the world but they generally fail to duel on a scientific basis. This project will definitely mark a starting point or proof of concept in Machine Translation in Cameroon and will greatly have a positive impact on language development.

Online translations

Some efforts have been made by some independent organisations to develop dictionaries for Mə̀dʉ̂mbɑ̀ such as Glosbe, Babylon-Software, Resulam and some more. The problem is they use the "naive approach" in a sense they do not do PoS tagging nor have transfer rules.


Week Dates Goals Bidix
proper names)
WER Coverage
Post-application period 10 April - 26 May ~6,000 fra > byv ~30% ~88%
1 27 May - 2 June Improving Mə̀dʉ̂mbɑ̀ monodix
Adding prn, pr, cnj*, basic adv to bidix
2 3 June- 9 June Adding n, adj, adv to the bidix from the French dictionary ~12,000 ~86,0%
3 10 June - 16 June Adding vblex to the bidix from the French dictionary
Beginning to add missing words in decreasing order of frequency fra > byv
~14,000 ~89%
4 17 June - 23 June Adding words
Transfer rules fra > byv
~15,000 ~90%
5 24 June - 30 June Adding words
Deliverable #1: Mə̀dʉ̂mbɑ̀ to French translator

First evaluation (28 June)

~16,000 (WP) 15,0% ~90.5%
6 1 July - 7 July Adding words
Transfer rules fra > byv
Begin testvoc fra > byv
~17,000 ~91%
7 8 June - 14 July Adding words
Transfer rules fra > byv
Testvoc fra > byv
~18,000 ~91.5%
8 15 July - 21 July Developing the GUI for adding words - - -
9 22 July - 28 July Developing the backend code (github auth, pushes and pulls)

Second evaluation (26 July)

- (WP) 7,2% -
10 29 July - 4 August Adding missing words in decreasing order of frequency byv > fra
Transfer rules byv > fra
Testvoc byv > fra
~18,500 (WP) 6,6% ~89.5%
11 5 August - 11 August Adding words
Transfer rules byv > fra
Testvoc byv > fra
~19,500 fra>byv (WP) 15,0% ~90%
12 12 August - 18 August Final improvements for the UI - - -
13 19 August - 25 August Final Improvements for dictionary
Deliverable #3: Mə̀dʉ̂mbɑ̀ to French translator plus minimal GUI

Final evaluation (26 August)

~19,500 <15% ~90.5%

List your skills and give evidence of your qualifications

I am a level 2 computer engineering student and I have the necessary skills needed to work on a software project.

Mə̀dʉ̂mbɑ̀ is my mother tongue. I am fluent in Français and English (due to the bilingual nature of my country and I was trained in a special bilingual setting). I am also a student of the Kǔm Vʉ̌ Mə̀dʉ̂mbɑ̀ (CEPOM: Comité d'Etude et de Production des Œuvres Bamiléké Mə̀dʉ̂mbɑ̀) hence I have the sufficient skills required for the Mə̀dʉ̂mbɑ̀ language. I’ve been working on Apertium since 2016 though there have been times of break due to school. In 2016 I created the Mə̀dʉ̂mbɑ̀-French pair which I worked on during GCI 2016 (I was selected as a finalist). I’ve mentored and was strongly involved in the 2018 edition of GCI.

List any non-Summer-of-Code plans you have for the Summer

I can guarantee at least 70 hours per week of work as from ending June onwards. As I love this kind of work, I'm sure I'll be engaged quite more. Before then, I will be able to commit only 35 hours of work per week due to the second-semester exams.