Exploring the Effects of Language Skills on Multilingual Web Search

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Multilingual access is an important area of research, especially given the growth in multilingual users of online resources. A large body of research exists for Cross-Language Information Retrieval (CLIR); however, little of this work has considered the language skills of the end user, a critical factor in providing effective multilingual search functionality. In this paper we describe an experiment carried out to further understand the effects of language skills on multilingual search. Using the Google Translate service, we show that users have varied language skills that are non-trivial to assess and can impact their multilingual searching experience and search effectiveness.