Lost in Translation: Viability of Machine Translation for Cross Language Sentiment Analysis

  • Balamurali A.R.
  • Mitesh M. Khapra
  • Pushpak Bhattacharyya
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7817)


Recently there has been a lot of interest in Cross Language Sentiment Analysis (CLSA) using Machine Translation (MT) to facilitate Sentiment Analysis in resource deprived languages. The idea is to use the annotated resources of one language (say, L 1) for performing Sentiment Analysis in another language (say, L 2) which does not have annotated resources. The success of such a scheme crucially depends on the availability of a MT system between L 1 and L 2. We argue that such a strategy ignores the fact that a Machine Translation system is much more demanding in terms of resources than a Sentiment Analysis engine. Moreover, these approaches fail to take into account the divergence in the expression of sentiments across languages. We provide strong experimental evidence to prove that even the best of such systems do not outperform a system trained using only a few polarity annotated documents in the target language. Having a very large number of documents in L 1 also does not help because most Machine Learning approaches converge (or reach a plateau) after a certain training size (as demonstrated by our results). Based on our study, we take the stand that languages which have a genuine need for a Sentiment Analysis engine should focus on collecting a few polarity annotated documents in their language instead of relying on CLSA.


Machine Translation Target Language Sentiment Analysis Source Language Movie Review 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Balamurali A.R.
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mitesh M. Khapra
    • 3
  • Pushpak Bhattacharyya
    • 1
  1. 1.Indian Institute of Technology BombayIndia
  2. 2.IITB-Monash Research AcademyIndia
  3. 3.IBM ResearchIndia

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