Exploring the Effects of Language Skills on Multilingual Web Search

  • Jennifer Marlow
  • Paul Clough
  • Juan Cigarrán Recuero
  • Javier Artiles
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4956)


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.


Cross-language web search user study design language skills 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Ringbom, H.: Cross-linguistic similarity in foreign language learning. Multilingual Matters, Clevedon (2007)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Laufer, B., Goldstein, Z.: Testing vocabulary knowledge: Size, strength and computer adaptiveness. Language Learning 54(3), 399–436 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gibson, M., Hufeisen, B.: Investigating the role of prior foreign language knowledge: Translating from an unknown into a known foreign language. In: Cenoz, J., Hufeisen, B., Jessner, U. (eds.) The Multilingual Lexicon, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht (2003)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gonzalo, J.: Scenarios for interactive cross-language information retrieval systems. In: Proceedings of SIGIR 2002 Workshop on Cross-Language IR (2002)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Zazo Rodriguez, A.F., Figuerola, C., Alonso Berrocal, J.L., Fernandez Marcial, V.: iCLEF 2005 at REINA-USAL: Use of free on-line machine translation programs for interactive cross-language question answering (2005)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Petrelli, D., Levin, S., Beaulieu, M., Sanderson, M.: Which user interaction for cross-language information retrieval? Design issues and reflections. JASIST 57, 709–722 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Artiles, J., Gonzalo, J., Lopez-Ostenero, F., Peinado, V.: Are users willing to search cross-language? An experiment with the Flickr image sharing repository. In: Peters, C., Clough, P., Gey, F.C., Karlgren, J., Magnini, B., Oard, D.W., de Rijke, M., Stempfhuber, M. (eds.) CLEF 2006. LNCS, vol. 4730, pp. 195–204. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kralisch, A., Berendt, B.: Language-sensitive search behaviour and the role of domain knowledge. New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia 11, 221–246 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gaspari, F.: Online machine translation services and real users’ needs: An empirical usability evaluation. In: Frederking, R.E., Taylor, K.B. (eds.) AMTA 2004. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 3265, pp. 74–85. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dorr, B., He, D., Luo, J., Oard, D.: iCLEF at Maryland: Translation selection and document selection. In: Peters, C., Gonzalo, J., Braschler, M., Kluck, M. (eds.) CLEF 2003. LNCS, vol. 3237, Springer, Heidelberg (2004)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    He, D., Wang, J., Oard, D., Nossal, M.: Comparing User-Assisted and Automatic Query Translation. In: Peters, C., Braschler, M., Gonzalo, J. (eds.) CLEF 2002. LNCS, vol. 2785, pp. 400–415. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Zhang, J., Lin, S.: Multiple language supports in search engines. Online Information Review 31(4), 516–532 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hull, D., Grefenstette, G.: Experiments in multilingual information retrieval. In: Proceedings of 19th ACM International Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval (SIGIR 1996), pp. 49–57 (1996)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Och, F., Zens, R., Ney, H.: Efficient search for interactive statistical machine translation. In: Proceedings of 38th Annual Meeting of Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL), pp. 440–447 (2003)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Marlow
    • 1
  • Paul Clough
    • 1
  • Juan Cigarrán Recuero
    • 2
  • Javier Artiles
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Information StudiesUniversity of SheffieldUK
  2. 2.Departamento de Lenguajes y Sistemas InformáticosUniversidad Nacional de Educación a DistanciaSpain

Personalised recommendations