We describe an approach to cross lingual information retrieval that does not rely on explicit translation of either document or query terms. Instead, both queries and documents are mapped into a shared embedding space where retrieval is performed. We discuss potential advantages of the approach in handling polysemy and synonymy. We present a method for training the model, and give details of the model implementation. We present experimental results for two cases: Somali-English and Bulgarian-English CLIR.
With the increasing democratization of electronic media, vast information resources are available in less-frequently-taught languages such as Swahili or Somali. That information, which may be crucially important and not available elsewhere, can be difficult for monolingual English speakers to effectively access. In this paper we present an end-to-end cross-lingual information retrieval (CLIR) and summarization system for low-resource languages that 1) enables English speakers to search foreign language repositories of text and audio using English queries, 2) summarizes the retrieved documents in English with respect to a particular information need, and 3) provides complete transcriptions and translations as needed. The SARAL system achieved the top end-to-end performance in the most recent IARPA MATERIAL CLIR+summarization evaluations. Our demonstration system provides end-to-end open query retrieval and summarization capability, and presents the original source text or audio, speech transcription, and machine translation, for two low resource languages.