Workshop on Hybridisation of Machine Translation for Irish

Abu-MaTran, in conjunction with the Tapadóir project, hosted a workshop on Hybridisation of Machine Translation (MT) to build translation solutions for English–Irish at Dublin City University on the 29th of April 2016.

The workshop consisted of 3 talks from researchers working on MT for Irish (1 of which from the Tapadóir project), 2 talks on hybrid MT from researchers of the Abu-MaTran project, an invited talk on hybrid MT in the HyghTra project and a final session for open discussion. The workshop was well attended with 15 participants, attracting attendees also from outside Ireland (e.g. Wales), thus showing that the topic is of interest also for MT involving other Celtic languages.

Below we include the programme with links to the slides of each talk (where available) and the motivation to carry out this workshop.

09:30 Welcome. John Judge (ADAPT Centre, Dublin City University)
09:40 Tapadóir: Statistical Machine Translation for Irish. Meghan Dowling (ADAPT Centre, Dublin City University)
10:00 IRIS: English-Irish Translation Sytem. Mihael Arcan (Insight, NUI Galway)
10:20 Rule-based MT for Irish. Jim O’Regan (Trinity College Dublin)
10:40 Developing a Hybrid MT system from Rule-based architecture: Experience from HyghTra project. Invited talk by Bogdan Babych (University of Leeds, UK)
11:20 Coffee break
11:40 Hybrid MT in the Abu-MaTran project. Víctor M. Sánchez-Cartagena (Prompsit Language Engineering, Spain)
12:20 Hybridisation through system combination. Antonio Toral (ADAPT Centre, Dublin City University)
12:50 Open discussion
13:30 Final remarks

While data driven, statistical approaches to MT have proven successful in rapidly developing translation solutions, these approaches do not recognise the inherent linguistic rules and structures of a language and the need for these to be considered when translating. High performing open source reference implementations of both data and rule driven MT exist in the Moses and Apertium platforms and much recent work has focused on combining the advances made in both paradigms into hybrid MT systems.

This workshop discussed recent advances in the state of the art in both rule-driven and statistics-based MT approaches to translate English text to Irish and presented a variety of hybridisation techniques which have been successfully developed and tested on other languages. The workshop included an open discussion session for researchers to consider how best to replicate the hybridisation successes for the English–Irish language pair and to propose next steps.

John Judge (ADAPT Centre, Dublin City University)
Antonio Toral (ADAPT Centre, Dublin City University)