Dirt Cheap Web-Scale Parallel Text from the Common Crawl
Jason Smith, Herve Saint-Amand, Magdalena Plamada, Philipp Koehn, Chris Callison-Burch and Adam Lopez
The 51st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL 2013)
Sofia, Bulgaria, August 4-9, 2013
Parallel text is the fuel that drives modern machine translation systems. The Web is a comprehensive source of preexisting parallel text, but crawling the entire web is impossible for all but the largest companies. We bring web-scale parallel text to the masses by mining the Common Crawl, a public Web crawl hosted on Amazon’s Elastic Cloud. Starting from nothing more than a set of common two-letter language codes, our open-source extension of the STRAND algorithm mined 32 terabytes of the crawl in just under a day, at a cost of about $500. Our large-scale experiment uncovers large amounts of parallel text in dozens of language pairs across a variety of domains and genres, some previously unavailable in curated datasets. Even with minimal cleaning and filtering, the resulting data boosts translation performance across the board for five different language pairs in the news domain, and on open domain test sets we see improvements of up to 5 BLEU. We make our code and data available for other researchers seeking to mine this rich new data resource.
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