4th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Philadelphia, PA, USA
October 3-6, 1996

Translation of Conversational Speech with JANUS-II

Alon Lavie, Alex Waibel, Lori Levin, Donna Gates, Marsal Gavaldà, Torsten Zeppenfeld, Puming Zhan, Oren Glickman

Center for Machine Translation, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

In this paper we investigate the possibility of translating continuous spoken conversations in a cross-talk environment. This is a task known to be difficult for human translators due to several factors. It is characterized by rapid and even overlapping turn-taking, a high degree of co-articulation, and fragmentary language. We describe experiments using both push-to-talk as well as cross-talk recording conditions. Our results indicate that conversational speech recognition and translation is possible, even in a free crosstalk environment. To date, our system has achieved performances of over 80% acceptable translations on transcribed input, and over 70% acceptable translations on speech input recognized with a 70-80% word accuracy. The system’s performance on spontaneous conversations recorded in a cross-talk environment is shown to be as good and even slightly superior to the simpler and easier push-to-talk scenario.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Lavie, Alon / Waibel, Alex / Levin, Lori / Gates, Donna / Gavaldà, Marsal / Zeppenfeld, Torsten / Zhan, Puming / Glickman, Oren (1996): "Translation of conversational speech with JANUS-II", In ICSLP-1996, 2375-2378.