Large-Scale Machine Translation between Arabic and Hebrew: Available Corpora and Initial Results

Yonatan Belinkov, James Glass

Machine translation between Arabic and Hebrew has so far been limited by a lack of parallel corpora, despite the political and cultural importance of this language pair. Previous work relied on manually-crafted grammars or pivoting via English, both of which are unsatisfactory for building a scalable and accurate MT system. In this work, we compare standard phrase-based and neural systems on Arabic-Hebrew translation. We experiment with tokenization by external tools and sub-word modeling by character-level neural models, and show that both methods lead to improved translation performance, with a small advantage to the neural models.

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