Is the system adaptive to colloquialism, argot or slang? The French language has many rules for creating words in the speech and writing of popular culture. Two such rules are: (a) The reverse spelling of words such as femme to meuf. (This is called verlan.) (b) The attachment of the suffix -ard to a noun or verb to form a proper noun. For example, the noun faluche means “student hat”. The word faluchard formed from faluche colloquially can mean, depending on context, “a group of students”, “a gathering of students” and “behavior typical of a student”. The Google translator as of 28 December 2006 doesn’t derive the constructed words as for example from rule (b), as shown here:
Il y a une chorale falucharde mercredi, venez nombreux, les faluchards chantent des paillardes! ==> There is a choral society falucharde Wednesday, come many, the faluchards sing loose-living women!
French argot has three levels of usage:
- familier or friendly, acceptable among friends, family and peers but not at work
- grossier or swear words, acceptable among friends and peers but not at work or in family
- verlan or ghetto slang, acceptable among lower classes but not among middle or upper classes
The United States National Institute of Standards and Technology conducts annual evaluations of machine translation systems based on the BLEU-4 criterion . A combined method called IQmt which incorporates BLEU and additional metrics NIST, GTM, ROUGE and METEOR has been implemeneted by Gimenez and Amigo .