Evaluating Indirect Strategies for Chinese-Spanish Statistical Machine Translation

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Although, Chinese and Spanish are two of the most spoken languages in the world, not much research has been done in machine translation for this language pair. This paper focuses on investigating the state-of-the-art of Chinese-to-Spanish statistical machine translation (SMT), which nowadays is one of the most popular approaches to machine translation. For this purpose, we report details of the available parallel corpus which are Basic Traveller Expressions Corpus (BTEC), Holy Bible and United Nations (UN). Additionally, we conduct experimental work with the largest of these three corpora to explore alternative SMT strategies by means of using a pivot language. Three alternatives are considered for pivoting: cascading, pseudo-corpus and triangulation. As pivot language, we use either English, Arabic or French. Results show that, for a phrase-based SMT system, English is the best pivot language between Chinese and Spanish. We propose a system output combination using the pivot strategies which is capable of outperforming the direct translation strategy. The main objective of this work is motivating and involving the research community to work in this important pair of languages given their demographic impact.

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