Hansard French/English

Item Name: Hansard French/English
Author(s): Salim Roukos, David Graff, Dan Melamed
LDC Catalog No.: LDC95T20
ISBN: 1-58563-048-9
ISLRN: 711-183-299-010-5
Member Year(s): 1995, 1996, 1997
DCMI Type(s): Text
Data Source(s): government documents
Application(s): machine translation
Language(s): French, English
Language ID(s): fra, eng
License(s): LDC User Agreement for Non-Members
Online Documentation: LDC95T20 Documents
Licensing Instructions: Subscription & Standard Members, and Non-Members
Citation: Roukos, Salim, David Graff, and Dan Melamed. Hansard French/English LDC95T20. CD. Philadelphia: Linguistic Data Consortium, 1995.

The Hansard Corpus consists of parallel texts in English and Canadian French, drawn from official records of the proceedings of the Canadian Parliament. While the content is therefore limited to legislative discourse, it spans a broad assortment of topics and the stylistic range includes spontaneous discussion and written correspondance along with legislative propositions and prepared speeches.

The collection presented here has been assembled by the LDC by way of archives from two distinct secondary sources. Material from one time period of parliamentary proceedings was acquired through the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, while material from another period was acquired through Bell Communications Research Inc. (Bellcore). The combined collection covers a time span from the mid-1970's through 1988, with no apparent duplication between the two data sources.

Aside from covering different time periods, the two archives have different organization and have undergone different amounts and kinds of processing in being prepared as a parallel language resource. In addition, the Bellcore set itself comprises two distinct types of data -- one appears to be the main parliamentary proceedings (similar in nature to the IBM set), while the other consists of transcripts from committee hearings.

The three sets have been kept distinct in this publication and each is described in greater detail in separate documentation files.

In terms of what the three sets have in common:

  • They are rendered here using the 8-bit ISO-Latin1 character encoding standard.
  • They use a minimal amount of SGML tagging to identify sentences or paragraphs.
  • All sets are organized using a parallel file structure, in which the content of a given English text file is matched by the content of a corresponding French text file.
  • The SGML text files for the IBM and the Bellcore committee-hearings data are published in compressed form, using the public-domain GNU-Zip utility (gzip). The Bellcore main-session files are not compressed.

In terms of differences between the three sets:

  • The IBM collection is presented as a sequence of parallel sentences (there are nearly 2.87 million parallel sentence pairs in the set).
  • The Bellcore data are presented as sequences of paragraphs.
  • The Bellcore main-session data is accompanied by mapping files that provide computed paragraph alignments and word-token correspondences; no additional alignment data are provided for the Bellcore committee texts (and none are needed for the IBM sentences).

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