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Abstract

Proper nouns may be considered the most important query words in information retrieval. If the two languages use the same alphabet, the same proper nouns can be found in either language. However, if the two languages use different alphabets, the names must be transliterated. Short vowels are not usually marked on Arabic words in almost all Arabic documents (except very important documents like the Muslim and Christian holy books). Moreover, most Arabic words have a syllable consisting of a consonant-vowel combination (CV), which means that most Arabic words contain a short or long vowel between two successive consonant letters. That makes it difficult to create English-Arabic transliteration pairs, since some English letters may not be matched with any romanized Arabic letter. In the present study, we present different approaches for extraction of transliteration proper-noun pairs from parallel corpora based on different similarity measures between the English and romanized Arabic proper nouns under consideration. The strength of our new system is that it works well for low-frequency proper noun pairs. We evaluate the new approaches presented using two different English-Arabic parallel corpora. Most of our results outperform previously published results in terms of precision, recall, and F-Measure.