INTRODUCING: LIBERA TRANSCRIBE
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:
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.
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.
FEATURES UNDER DEVELOPMENT
Future versions of Libera TranScribe will include:
Arabic-English dictionary for instant word-level translation
favorite word lists
the highly-acclaimed CAVE system for displaying conjugations of Arabic verbs
a feature providing the singular and plural forms of nouns and adjectives as well as the canonical form for the inflected form of any verb.
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).