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Matxin, an open-source rule-based machine translation system for Basque

TitleMatxin, an open-source rule-based machine translation system for Basque
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsMayor, A, Alegria, I, Díaz de Ilarraza, A, Labaka, G, Lersundi, M, Sarasola, K
JournalMachine Translation

We present the first publicly available machine translation (MT) system for Basque. The fact that Basque is both a morphologically rich and less-resourced language makes the use of statistical approaches difficult, and raises the need to develop a rule-based architecture which can be combined in the future with statistical techniques. The MT architecture proposed reuses several open-source tools and is based on a unique XML format to facilitate the flow between the different modules, which eases the interaction among different developers of tools and resources. The result is the rule-based Matxin MT system, an open-source toolkit, whose first implementation translates from Spanish to Basque. We have performed innovative work on the following tasks: construction of a dependency analyser for Spanish, use of rich linguistic information to translate prepositions and syntactic functions (such as subject and object markers), construction of an efficient module for verbal chunk transfer, and design and implementation of modules for ordering words and phrases, independently of the source language.