Script Independent Morphological Segmentation for Arabic Maghrebi Dialects: An Application to Machine Translation

Salima Harrat, Karima Meftouh, Kamel Smaili


This research deals with resources creation for under-resourced languages. We try to adapt existing resources for other resourced-languages to process less resourced ones. We focus on Arabic dialects of the Maghreb, namely Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian. We first adapt a well known statistical word segmenter to segment Algerian dialect texts written in both Arabic and Latin scripts. We demonstrate that unsupervised morphological segmentation could be applied to Arabic dialects regardless of used script. Next, we use this kind of segmentation to improve statistical machine translation scores between the tree Maghrebi dialects and French. We use a parallel multidialectal corpus that includes six Arabic dialects in addition to MSA and French. We achieved interesting results. Regardsto word segmentation, the rate of correctly segmented words reached 70% for those written in Latin scriptand 79% for those written in Arabic script. For machine translation, the unsupervised morphological segmentation helped to decrease out of vocabulary words rates by a minimum of 35%.


Arabic dialects , morphological segmentation, machine translation

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