NIST 2008-2012 Open Machine Translation (OpenMT) Progress Test Sets

Item Name: NIST 2008-2012 Open Machine Translation (OpenMT) Progress Test Sets
Author(s): NIST Multimodal Information Group
LDC Catalog No.: LDC2013T07
ISBN: 1-58563-640-1
ISLRN: 112-444-010-598-0
Release Date: April 15, 2013
Member Year(s): 2013
DCMI Type(s): Text
Data Source(s): web collection, newswire
Project(s): NIST MT
Application(s): machine translation
Language(s): English, Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, Chinese
Language ID(s): eng, cmn, ara, zho
License(s): LDC User Agreement for Non-Members
Online Documentation: LDC2013T07 Documents
Licensing Instructions: Subscription & Standard Members, and Non-Members
Citation: NIST Multimodal Information Group. NIST 2008-2012 Open Machine Translation (OpenMT) Progress Test Sets LDC2013T07. Web Download. Philadelphia: Linguistic Data Consortium, 2013.
Related Works: View


NIST 2008-2012 Open Machine Translation (OpenMT) Progress Test Sets was developed by NIST Multimodal Information Group. This release contains the evaluation sets (source data and human reference translations), DTD, scoring software, and evaluation plans for the Arabic-to-English and Chinese-to-English progress test sets for the NIST OpenMT 2008, 2009, and 2012 evaluations. The test data remained unseen between evaluations and was reused unchanged each time. The package was compiled, and scoring software was developed, at NIST, making use of Chinese and Arabic newswire and web data and reference translations collected and developed by the Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC).

The objective of the OpenMT evaluation series is to support research in, and help advance the state of the art of, machine translation (MT) technologies -- technologies that translate text between human languages. Input may include all forms of text. The goal is for the output to be an adequate and fluent translation of the original.

The MT evaluation series started in 2001 as part of the DARPA TIDES (Translingual Information Detection, Extraction) program. Beginning with the 2006 evaluation, the evaluations have been driven and coordinated by NIST as NIST OpenMT. These evaluations provide an important contribution to the direction of research efforts and the calibration of technical capabilities in MT. The OpenMT evaluations are intended to be of interest to all researchers working on the general problem of automatic translation between human languages. To this end, they are designed to be simple, to focus on core technology issues and to be fully supported.

For more general information about the NIST OpenMT evaluations, please refer to the NIST OpenMT website.

This evaluation kit includes a single Perl script ( that may be used to produce a translation quality score for one (or more) MT systems. The script works by comparing the system output translation with a set of (expert) reference translations of the same source text. Comparison is based on finding sequences of words in the reference translations that match word sequences in the system output translation.

LDC has released the following associated corpora:


This release contains 2,748 documents with corresponding source and reference files, the latter of which contains four independent human reference translations of the source data. The source data is comprised of Arabic and Chinese newswire and web data collected by LDC in 2007. The table below displays statistics by source, genre, documents, segments and source tokens.

Source Genre Documents Segments Source Tokens
Arabic Newswire 84 784 20039
Arabic Web Data 51 594 14793
Chinese Newswire 82 688 26923
Chinese Web Data 40 682 19112

The token counts for Chinese data are character counts, which were obtained by counting tokens matching the UNICODE-based regular expression w. The Python re module was used to obtain those counts.

The data in this package are in XML format compliant with the included DTD.


Please consult the following source sample and translation sample.


None at this time.

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