Paper: Semantic Transliteration of Personal Names

ACL ID P07-1016
Title Semantic Transliteration of Personal Names
Venue Annual Meeting of the Association of Computational Linguistics
Session Main Conference
Year 2007

Words of foreign origin are referred to as borrowed words or loanwords. A loanword is usually imported to Chinese by phonetic transliteration if a translation is not easily available. Semantic transliteration is seen as a good tradition in introducing foreign words to Chinese. Not only does it preserve how a word sounds in the source language, it also carries forward the word’s original semantic attributes. This paper attempts to automate the semantic transliteration process for the first time. We conduct an inquiry into the feasibility of semantic transliteration and propose a probabilistic model for transliterating personal names in Latin script into Chinese. The results show that semantic transliteration substantially and consistently improves accuracy over phonetic transliteration in...