West African Journal of Industrial and Academic Research

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Machine translation of noun phrases from English to Igala using the rule-based approach

S F Ayegba, O E Osuagwu, N D Okechukwu


We live in a multilingual society where large volumes of documents are produced in different languages. Translation is the means by which information generated in one language can be accessed by someone in a different language. Igala is one of the languages spoken in Nigeria. Igala is the ninth largest ethnic group in Nigeria and the language is spoken by about 2.5 million people. The main objective of this research is to model a language processor that can accept as input Noun Phrases in English language and translate same to Igala language. The two core technologies, corpus based and rule based technologies for building machine translation systems were carefully studied. Due to the structural differences between English and Igala, noun phrases coupled with the non- availability of large amount of parallel aligned corpus for English and Igala language, the rule based technology was adopted to develop the model. The model was implemented using programming language as front end and Microsoft Access as back end. The application was tested on 120 randomly selected English noun phrases using the Bilingual Evaluation Understudy (BLEU) method for evaluating Machine Translation systems. An accuracy of 90.9% was obtained.

Key words: Translation, Igala language, Language processor, corpus based technology, rule based technology, Bilingual Evaluation Understudy.

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