Interlingua-based English–Hindi Machine Translation and Language Divergence


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Abstract

Interlingua and transfer-based approaches to machine translation have long been in use in competing and complementary ways. The former proves economical in situations where translation among multiple languages is involved, and can be used as a knowledge-representation scheme. But given a particular interlingua, its adoption depends on its ability (a) to capture the knowledge in texts precisely and accurately and (b) to handle cross-language divergences. This paper studies the language divergence between English and Hindi and its implication to machine translation between these languages using the Universal Networking Language (UNL). UNL has been introduced by the United Nations University, Tokyo, to facilitate the transfer and exchange of information over the internet. The representation works at the level of single sentences and defines a semantic net-like structure in which nodes are word concepts and arcs are semantic relations between these concepts. The language divergences between Hindi, an Indo-European language, and English can be considered as representing the divergences between the SOV and SVO classes of languages. The work presented here is the only one to our knowledge that describes language divergence phenomena in the framework of computational linguistics through a South Asian language.

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