Parallel Corpora

Parallel Corpora

The term parallel corpora is typically used in linguistic circles to refer to texts that are translations of each other. And the term comparable corpora refers to texts in two languages that are similar in content, but are not translations. In order to exploit a parallel text, some kind of text alignment, which identifies equivalent text segments (approximately sentences), is a prerequisite for analysis. (Some researchers take the next step and aim for lexical alignment.)


Some projects associated with ParaConc are described here.

European Parliament

Aligned files created by Philipp Koehn. Available in Danish-English, German-English, Greek-English, Spanish-English, Finnish-English, French-English, Italian-English, Dutch-English, Portuguese-English, Swedish-English. Each corpus is about 100 MB. Note the alignment has been done pairwise and so you cannot straightforwardly obtain an English-French-Spanish corpus.

Czech National Corpus Czech-Other Languages

Professor Frantisek Cermak and his colleagues are using ParaConc to analyse translations of texts in the Czech National Corpus.

Centre for Corpus Linguistics, Birmingham University Chinese-English
Pernilla Danielsson.

INTERSECT: a Parallel Corpus Project
Raphael Salkie,

The INTERSECT (International Sample of English Contrastive Texts) Project at Brighton University began in the Spring of 1994. The aim is to construct and analyse a parallel bilingual corpus of French and English written texts, adding other languages later if resources permit.

The Contrastive Grammar Research Group. University of Gent.

A project involving the construction of multilingual corpora for English, French, Greek and some others, for use in language pedagogy.

Building tools for multilingual corpus access, and also a bunch of sample corpora. Contact

Parallel and comparable corpora in Eastern European languages.

A Scandinavian Project to build multilingual (english/swedish/norwegian/finnish) parallel corpora. Contact

7. English-Norwegian Parallel Corpus Project
ENPC Information on English-Norwegian Parallel Corpus (University of Oslo); includes an on-line search facility

Knut Hofland has also set up an interesting web-based search engine for some English-French texts.

TRIPTIC: TRIlingual Parallel Text Information Corpus
TRIPTIC is a trilingual corpus developed for the analysis of prepositions in English, French and Dutch. The corpus forms part of the empirical data used for research on the contrastive analysis of prepositions (PhD thesis). The object of the study, which assumes the cognitive linguistic framework, is to examine in which way languages converge and diverge in the semantic structure of so-called function words.

The corpus consists of 2,000,000 words, one half fiction, the other half non-fiction material. All paragraphs are aligned, allowing automatic selection of the n-th paragraph in the 3 languages.

The original text files have been converted into a database structure (4th Dimension on Macintosh), in order to facilitate the description of the prepositions under study.

Translation Corpus of English and German

Prof. Schmied at the Technical University Of Chemnitz-Zwickau is compiling a translation corpus of English and German

Corpora: Construction and Parsing

Atkins, S., Clear J. H and Ostler N. Literary and Linguistics Computing 1992. `Corpus Design Criteria' in , Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 1-16.

Brill, Eric and Philip Resnik. 1994. A Rule-Based Approach To Prepositional Phrase Attachment Disambiguation. COLING-94.

Chafe, W., J. DuBois, and S. Thompson. 1991. Towards a New Corpus of Spoken American English. In K. Aijmer and B. Altenberg (eds), English Corpus Linguistics. London: Longman.

Clear, J. H. New Directions in English Language Corpora: Methodology, Results, Software Developments 1992. `Corpus Sampling' in G. Leitner (ed.) , . Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin. 21-31.

Clear, J. H. The Digital Word: Text-Based Computing in the Humanities 1993. `The British National Corpus' in G. P. Landow and P. Delaney (eds.), . MIT Press, Cambridge Mass

Davis, Mark and Ted Dunning. 1995. Query Translation Using Evolutionary Programming for Multi-lingual Information Retrieval. Proceedings of Evolutionary Programming 95.

Dunning, Ted. 1992. A Single Language Evaluation of a Multi-lingual Text Retrieval System. TREC-1 Proceedings, In NIST Special Publication 500-207.

Dunning, Ted. 1994. Statistical Identification of Language. CLR Tech Report. (MCCS-94-273)

Dunning, Ted and Mark Davis. 1993. Multi-lingual Information Retrieval. CLR Tech Report. (MCCS-93-252)

Edwards, J.A. & M. D. Lampert (eds.) (1993) _Talking Data: Transcription and Coding in Discourse Research._ Hillsdale,NJ: Erlbaum, Associates.

Eeg-Olofsson, Mats 1991. Word-class tagging. Some computational tools. Department of computational linguistics, University of Gvteborg (Gothenburg). ISBN 91-628-0297-6. (available through University Microfilms International)

Haslerud, V. & A-B Stenstrom. COLT: 1994. Mark-up and Trends. In Hermes, Journal of Linguistics 13, 55-70.

Haslerud, V. & A-B. Stenstrom. 1995. The Bergen Corpus of London Teenage Corpus (COLT). In G. Leech, G. Meyres & J. Thomas (eds) Spokan English on computer. London: Longman, 235-242.

Quirk, R. 1992. On Corpus Principles and Design. In Svartik, J. (ed) Directions in Corpus Linguistics. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Resnik, Philip. 1992. Probabilistic Tree-Adjoining Grammar as a Framework for Statistical Natural Language Processing. Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING '92).

Corpus Linguistics and Text Analysis

Aarts, J. 1991. Intuition-Based and Observation-Based Grammars. In Aijmer, K and B. Altenberg (eds), English Corpus Linguistics. London: Longman.

Andersen, G. & A-B. Stenstrom. Forthcoming. A corpus-based investigation of the discourse items cos and innit. Synchronic Corpus Linguistics. Toronto.

Barlow, M. Forthcoming. Parallel texts in linguistic analysis. In In M. Barlow and S. Kemmer (eds.) Usage-based models of language.

Barlow, M. 1996. Corpora for Theory and Practice. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 1, 1.

Biber, D. 1988. Variation across speech and writing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Biber, D and E. Finegan. 1991. On the Exploitation of Computerized Corpora in Variation Studies. In K. Aijmer and B. Altenberg (eds.), English Corpus Linguistics. London: Longman.

Church, K., W. Gale, P. Hanks and D. Hindle. 1991. Using statistics in lexical analysis. In U. Zernik (ed.) Lexical Acquisition. Englewood Cliff, NJ: Erlbaum. 115--64.

Clear, J. 1993. From Firth principles: Computational tools for the study of collocation. In M. Baker, G. Francis, and E. Tognini-Bonelli (eds.) text and technology: In honour of John Sinclair. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Clear, J.H. Papers in Computational Lexicography: COMPLEX '94 1994. `I Can't See the Sense in a Large Corpus' in F. Kiefer, G. Kiss, J. Pajzs (eds.) . Research Institute for Linguistics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, 33-48.

Dunning, Ted. 1993. Accurate Methods for the Statistics of Surprise and Coincidence. Computational Linguistics 19, 1.

Grefenstette, G. 1994. Explorations in automatic thesaurus discovery Boston : Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Klavans, Judith L. and Evelyne Tzoukermann. 1989. Movement Verbs in English-French Translation: A Corpus-based Approach. Proceedings of the Sixth Israeli Conference of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision. Tel Aviv, Israel.

Resnik, Philip. WordNet and Distributional Analysis: A Class-based Approach to Lexical Discovery. AAAI Workshop on Statistically-based NLP Techniques.

Resnik, Philip. 1993. Semantic Classes and Syntactic Ambiguity. Proceedings of the 1993 ARPA Human Language Technology Workshop. Morgan Kaufmann.

Resnik, Philip and Marti Hearst. 1993. Syntactic Ambiguity and Conceptual Relations. Proceedings of the ACL Workshop on Very Large Corpora. 58--64.

Resnik, Philip. 1993. Selection and Information: A Class-Based Approach to Lexical Relationships. Unpublished Dissertation. University of Pennsylvania.

Resnik, Philip. 1995. Using Information Content to Evaluate Semantic Similarity in a Taxonomy. IJCAI-95.

Resnik,Philip. 1995. Disambiguating Noun Groupings with Respect to WordNet Senses. Third Workshop on Very Large Corpora. Association for Computational Linguistics.

Sampson, G. 1987. Evidence Against the ``Grammatical''/``Ungrammatical'' Distinction. In W. Meijs (ed) Corpus Linguistics and Beyond. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Sinclair, J. 1991. Corpus, concordance, collocation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Stenstrom, A-B. & J. Svartvik. 1994. Imparsable speech: Repeats and nonfluencies in spoken English. In N. Oostdijk & P. de Haan (eds) Corpus-based research into language. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 241-254.

Stenstrom, A-B. 1995a. Taboos in Teenage Talk, In G. Melchers & B. Warren (eds) Studies in Anglistics. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 71-80.

Stenstrom, A-B. 1995b. Some remarks on comment clauses. In B. Aarts & Ch. Meyer (eds) The verb in contemporary English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 290-302.

Stubbs, M. 1995. Collocations and semantic profiles: On the cause of the trouble with quantitative studies. Functions of Language 2, 1: 23--55.

White, Owen and Ted Dunning. 1993. Computational tools for DNA sequence analysis. In Mark Adams, Chris Fields and J. Craig Venter (eds) Automated DNA Sequencing and Analysis. Academic Press, London.

White, Owen, Ted Dunning, Sutton Granger, Mark Adams, J. Craig Venter and Chris Fields. 1993. A quality control algorithm for DNA sequencing projects. Nucleic Acids Research, 21, 16.

Corpora and Language Teaching

Barlow, M. 1992. Using Concordance Software in Language Teaching and Research. In Shinjo, W. et al. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Foreign Language Education and Technology. Kasugai, Japan: LLAJ & IALL

Barlow, M. 1995. A Guide to ParaConc. Houston: Athelstan

Barlow, M. 1995. ParaConc: A Concordancer for Parallel Texts. Computers and Texts, 10. (CTI Textual Studies).

Johns, T. 1988. Whence and Whither Classroom Concordancing? In T. Bongaerts et al (eds.) Computer Applications in Language Learning. Dordrecht: Foris.

Johns, T. 1991a. Should you be persuaded---Two Examples of Data-Driven Learning Materials. English Language Research Journal (4) 1--16. University of Birmingham

Johns, T. 1991b. From printout to handout: Grammar and vocabulary learning in the context of data-driven learning. English Language Research Journal (4) 27--45. University of Birmingham

Jordan, G. 1992. Concordances: Research Findings and Learner Processes. Unpub M.A. Dissertation.

Nattinger, J. R. and J. S. Decarrico. 1992. Lexical phrases and language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Stevens, V. 1991. Concordance-based Vocabulary Exercises: A Viable Alternative to Gap-Filling. English Language Research Journal (4) 47--61. University of Birmingham

Stevens, Vance 1995. Concordancing with Language Learners: Why? When? What? CAELL Journal, 6,2 2-10.

Tribble, C. and G. Jones. 1990.Concordances in the Classroom. London: Longman.

Willis, D. 1990. The Lexical Syllabus. Collins.

Parallel Corpora

Barlow, M. 1995. A Guide to ParaConc. Houston: Athelstan

Barlow, M. 1996. ParaConc. Computers and Texts. (CTI Textual Studies).

Barlow, M. Forthcoming. Parallel texts in linguistic analysis. In In M. Barlow and S. Kemmer (eds.) Usage-based models of language.

Davis, Mark, Ted Dunning and Bill Ogden. 1995. Text Alignment in the Real World: Improving Alignments of Noisy Translations Using Common Lexical Features, String Matching Strategies and N-Gram Comparisons. European Association for Computation Linguistics.

Dunning, Ted, Jim Cowie and Takahiro Waka. 1991. Analysis of Parallel Japanese and English Corpora. CLR Tech Report. (MCCS-91-233)

Klavans, Judith L. and Evelyne Tzoukermann. 1990. Linking Bilingual Corpora and Machine Readable Dictionaries with the BICORD System. Proceedings of the Sixth Conference of the University of Waterloo Centre for the New Oxford English Dictionary and Text Research: Electronic Text Research, University of Waterloo, Canada.

Klavans, Judith L. and Evelyne Tzoukermann. 1990. Combining Lexical Information from Bilingual Corpora and Machine-Readable Dictionaries. Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: COLING. Helsinki, Finland.

Klavans, Judith and Evelyne Tzoukermann. 1996. Dictionaries and Corpora: Combining Corpus and Machine-Readable Dictionary Data for Building Bilingual Lexicons. The Machine Translation Journal. Kluwer. ">English and German.

The corpus at present includes EC-material, academic textbooks, modern fiction and tourist brochures (approx. 500000 words altogether). The researchers are currently looking at aspects such as culture-specific problems in translation or translationese.
Contact: or

Corpora projects Språkteknologi, University of Uppsala

Erik Tjong Kim Sang sent email about a project in Sweden which is currently working on structuring two multilingual text corpora and integrating them with lexical resources they have available. The prime goal for the resulting corpus is applying it for research in Machine Translation. Anna Sågvall-Hein is the project leader.

Thai On-Line Library TOLL of parallel Thai/English texts.


A. Barentsen. Holland. Slavic Languages
Working on Slavic constructions that are more or less equivalent to contructions as English "let me ..." or "let us...". Also interested in "taxis", i.e. the expression of temporal relations between events. Monika Szirmai. Japan.

Sources of texts

European Language Resources Association

Canadian HansardWeb-searchable.

Canadian Embassy English texts
Canadian Embassy French texts

LDC material: on Tends to be expensive if priced with respect to individual corpora. Includes Canadian Hansard and EC materials.

European Corpus Initiative (ECI) have produced a cheap CD-ROM which contains a wide variety of corpora, including some non-aligned parallel texts.

Cathrine Fabricius-Hansen
Germanistisk institutt
P.b. 1004, Blindern
N-0315 Oslo