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Challenges in Adapting an Interlingua for Bidirectional English-Italian Translation

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNAI,volume 1934)


We describe our experience in adapting an existing high- quality, interlingual, unidirectional machine translation system to a new domain and bidirectional translation for a new language pair (English and Italian). We focus on the interlingua design changes which were necessary to achieve high quality output in view of the language mismatches between English and Italian. The representation we propose contains features that are interpreted differently, depending on the translation direction. This decision simplified the process of creating the interlingua for individual sentences, and allows the system to defer mapping of language-specific features (such as tense and aspect), which are realized when the target syntactic feature structure is created. We also describe a set of problems we encountered in translating modal verbs, and discuss the representation of modality in our interlingua.


  • Machine Translation
  • Target Language
  • Source Language
  • Past Participle
  • Person Plural

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© 2000 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

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Cavalli-Sforza, V., Czuba, K., Mitamura, T., Nyberg, E. (2000). Challenges in Adapting an Interlingua for Bidirectional English-Italian Translation. In: White, J.S. (eds) Envisioning Machine Translation in the Information Future. AMTA 2000. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 1934. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-540-41117-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-540-39965-0

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