Arabic News Translation Text Part 1

Item Name: Arabic News Translation Text Part 1
Author(s): Xiaoyi Ma, Dalal Zakhary, Moussa Bamba
LDC Catalog No.: LDC2004T17
ISBN: 1-58563-307-0
ISLRN: 443-183-109-992-5
Release Date: September 23, 2004
Member Year(s): 2004
DCMI Type(s): Text
Data Source(s): newswire
Project(s): GALE, TIDES
Application(s): cross-lingual information retrieval, language teaching, machine translation
Language(s): English, Standard Arabic
Language ID(s): eng, arb
License(s): LDC User Agreement for Non-Members
Licensing Instructions: Subscription & Standard Members, and Non-Members
Citation: Ma, Xiaoyi, Dalal Zakhary, and Moussa Bamba. Arabic News Translation Text Part 1 LDC2004T17. Web Download. Philadelphia: Linguistic Data Consortium, 2004.


Arabic News Translation Text Part 1 was produced by the Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC) and contains 1,526 Arabic news stories and their English translations, totaling approximately 441,000 Arabic words and 581,000 English words.

To support the development of automatic machine translation systems, LDC was sponsored to solicit English translations for a single set of Arabic source materials. The source Arabic text was selected and translated in different LDC projects from November 2002 to February 2004. Arabic news stories were selected from three sources, namely Xinhua, AFP, and An Nahar, and translation services were provided by eight translation agencies who translated each Arabic news story once.

The Xinhua and An Nahar stories and their translations were created for TIDES Machine Translation, while the AFP stories and their English translations were created for TIDES TDT. The development of all these translations followed roughly the same guidelines and procedures.


Here is a breakdown of the Arabic material by source:

Source News Stories Arabic Words Collection Span
AFP News Service 250 44,193 October 1998 - December 1998
Xinhua News Service 670 99,514 November 2001 - March 2002
An Nahar 606 297,533 October 2001 - December 2002
Total 1,526 441,240  

For the Arabic data, there are 441 K-words (thousands of words), while for the English translation, there are approximately 581 K-words in total, and 25K unique words.

Each translation team was provided with translation guidelines. In accordance with the guidelines, each translation team was asked to return the first five stories for quality checking in each project. This was to ensure that each translation team had indeed understood and was following the guidelines, and the translation quality was acceptable. LDC sent the translations back to the translation team for any deviations from the guidelines or any quality issues detected. Subsequent translation submissions were continuously monitored for conformance and quality. Once the full set of translations was complete, a final pass of reformatting and validation was carried out, to assure alignability of segments, and to convert the translated texts into SGML format. An Arabic-English bilingual LDC employee went through all the source data and English translations, and fixed any problems that had been found.

For the present release, the corpus content is organized into source and translation directories, containing 1,526 files in source and 1,526 files in translation, one news story per file.


For an example of the data in this corpus, please view this Arabic sample (SGM) and its English translation (SGM).


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