User:Pmodi/GSOC 2020 proposal: Hindi-Punjabi
Name: Priyank Modi
Location: Hyderabad, India
University: International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad
Student email: email@example.com
Timezone: GMT +0530 hrs
Why I am interested in Apertium
Because Apertium is free/open-source software.
Because its community is strongly committed to under-resourced and minoritised/marginalised languages.
Because there is lot of good work done and being done in it.
Because it is not only machine translation, but also free resources than 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 plan on developing the Hindi-Punjabi language pair in both directions i.e. hin-pan and pan-hin. This'll involve improving the monolingual dictionaries for both languages, the hin-pan bilingual dictionary and writing suitable transfer rules to bring this pair to a releasable state.
Why Google and Apertium should sponsor it
- Both Hindi and Punjabi are widely spoken languages, both by number of speakers and geographic spread. Despite that, Punjabi especially has very limited online resources.
- Services like Google Translate give unsatisfactory results when it comes to translation of this pair(see Section 2.1) On the contrary, I was able to achieve close to human translation for some sentences using minimal rules and time(see Section 3 : Coding Challenge).
- I believe the Apertium architecture is suited perfectly for this pair and can replace the current state-of-art translator for this pair.
- This is an important project(since it adds diversity to Apertium and translation systems in general) which requires at least 2-3 months of dedicated work and can be an important resource.
How and who it will benefit in society
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.
Google Translate : Analysis and comparison
Google and Yandex propose the three languages in question, so one can translate between them using these services. I have analysed the results of the translation into Catalan from Google (my experience tells me that Yandex gives worse results for Catalan). The numerical results can be seen in the previous sections (ita-cat: 14.0% WER, por-cat: 21.6% WER).
The results are far from wonderful, especially for the Portuguese-Catalan pair. Seemingly, Google translates using both Spanish and English as bridge languages, as can be seen, for example, by words that appear in these two languages in the final text (supposedly in Catalan) and that were not in the original Italian or Portuguese text. The use of English as intermediate between Romance languages causes problems known to all users, such as the translation of p2.pl verb forms with elided subject to p2.sg, the incorrect choice of past times in the verbs and the disappearance of some pronouns. Here is an example of the last case of the Italian test text (randomly obtained):
Original text (bold mine):
altri invece ne hanno apprezzato la spontaneità, la tenacia e l'affettuosità
altres han apreciat la seva espontaneïtat, tenacitat i afecte
altres n'han apreciat l'espontaneïtat, tenacitat i afecte
It should be added that, although Google translations tend to be more phraseological than the ones obtained by rules, they are also much more difficult to post-edit. The reason is that, while the translation by rules often makes evident and even expected errors, the neuronal translation significantly changes the text, reordering parts of the sentence, removing or putting words, changing singular to plural or plural to singular (!), and modifying expressions. The evaluation of whether the meaning is the same as the original requires a lot more time. This has been quite clear when I have made the post-edition of both the Apertium and Google translations for the Italian and Portuguese texts.