Paper: Machine Transliteration

ACL ID P97-1017
Title Machine Transliteration
Venue Annual Meeting of the Association of Computational Linguistics
Session Main Conference
Year 1997

It is challenging to translate names and technical terms across languages with differ- ent alphabets and sound inventories. These items are commonly transliterated, i.e., re- placed with approximate phonetic equivalents. For example, computer in English comes out as ~ i/l:::'=--~-- (konpyuutaa) in Japanese. Translating such items from Japanese back to English is even more challenging, and of prac- tical interest, as transliterated items make up the bulk of text phrases not found in bilin- gual dictionaries. We describe and evaluate a method for performing backwards translitera- tions by machine. This method uses a gen- erative model, incorporating several distinct stages in the transliteration process.