Phonetic Normalization for Machine Translation of User Generated Content

José Carlos Rosales Núñez1, Djamé Seddah2, Guillaume Wisniewski3
1LIMSI-CNRS / Inria Paris, 2Université Paris Sorbonne (Paris IV), 3Université Paris Sud and LIMSI


We present an approach to correct noisy User Generated Content (UGC) in French aiming to produce a pretreatement pipeline to improve Machine Translation for this kind of non-canonical corpora. In order to do so, we have implemented a character-based neural model phonetizer to produce IPA pronunciations of words. In this way, we intend to correct grammar, vocabulary and accentuation errors often present in noisy UGC corpora. Our method leverages on the fact that some errors are due to confusion induced by words with similar pronunciation which can be corrected using a phonetic look-up table to produce normalization candidates. These potential corrections are then encoded in a lattice and ranked using a language model to output the most probable corrected phrase. Compare to using other phonetizers, our method boosts a transformer-based machine translation system on UGC.