INTRODUCING: LIBERA TRANSCRIBE

libera_transcribe_300x300.png

The CJK Dictionary Institute (CJKI) is pleased to announce the release of Libera TranScribe, an innovative application that makes Arabic texts immediately accessible to learners by eliminating its inherent ambiguity. This unique approach offers a transformative experience for learners of Arabic.

Libera TranScribe inherits its features from CJKI's flagship product Libera, a Parallel Text Reader and language learning tool that enables users to easily read foreign language texts alongside the same text in their own native language. This is made possible by Libera's innovative and unique Interactive Parallel Text system.

For the first time, the learner has at her fingertips access to a tool that instantly converts any unvocalized Arabic text into an easily readable form by transforming any Arabic text into a multipanel view as shown below:

Top left: the original unvocalized Arabic text

Top right: a fully vocalized version of the Arabic text

Bottom left: a learner-friendly romanized version of the text

Bottom right: an English translation (or any other language)

 Coming soon!

Coming soon!


AMBIGUITY IN ARABIC

Unvocalized Arabic is highly ambiguous. Its lack of vowel diacritics means that كاتب, for example, can be pronounced in seven possible ways, including كَاتِب kātib, كَاتَبَ kātaba, and كَاتِبَ kātiba. This inherent ambiguity is one of the greatest obstacles to learners of Arabic, which is already one of the world’s most challenging languages.

Even fully vocalized Arabic is somewhat ambiguous as some letters are not pronounced. That is, even if all the diacritics are added (which is rarely the case), they sometimes do not convey enough information to enable the reader to pronounce correctly without knowledge of orthographic rules. For example in اَلشُّرْطَةُ ʾashshúrṭatu the ل  is silent, while in أَنَا ʾána the final vowel is written long but is pronounced short.


KEY FEATURES

What sets Libera TranScribe apart from any other language learning tool, making it an extremely powerful learning aid, is the unique combination of the following seven features:

  • Adds vowel diacritics to any unvocalized Arabic text

  • Tapping on a segment highlights the corresponding segments in the other panels

  • Adds learner-friendly romanization to any unvocalized Arabic text

  • Translates any Arabic text into English or any other major language

  • Tapping on any segment plays the segment in high-quality audio

  • Highly intuitive ergonomic user interface

  • Word-aligned sentences are displayed side-by-side in a multipanel user interface

For a detailed account on Libera TranScribe’s key features and an in-depth explanation of its main components (related to advanced linguistic technology) , please see this document.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Libera TranScribe is powered by the state-of-the-art Arabic segmenter Farasa provided by the Qatar Computing Research Institute at Hamad Bin Khalifa University,  the Google Translate API by Google, and by CJKI's advanced Arabic word alignment technology (CAMSAT).