Using LSTM to Translate French to Senegalese Local Languages: Wolof as a Case Study

27 Mar 2020  ·  Lo Alla, Dione Cheikh Bamba, Nguer Elhadji Mamadou, Ba Sileye O. Ba, Lo Moussa ·

In this paper, we propose a neural machine translation system for Wolof, a low-resource Niger-Congo language. First we gathered a parallel corpus of 70000 aligned French-Wolof sentences. Then we developped a baseline LSTM based encoder-decoder architecture which was further extended to bidirectional LSTMs with attention mechanisms. Our models are trained on a limited amount of parallel French-Wolof data of approximately 35000 parallel sentences. Experimental results on French-Wolof translation tasks show that our approach produces promising translations in extremely low-resource conditions. The best model was able to achieve a good performance of 47% BLEU score.

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