Speech to sign language translation system for Spanish

Año: 2008
Editorial: Speech Communication. Vol. 50 (2008) pp. 1009-1020
Tipo de código: Copyright
Código: ISSN: 0167-6393
Soporte: Digital


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This paper describes the development of and the first experiments in a Spanish to sign language translation system in a real domain. The developed system focuses on the sentences spoken by an official when assisting people applying for, or renewing their Identity Card. The system translates official explanations into Spanish Sign Language (LSE: Lengua de Signos Espan˜ola) for Deaf people. The translation system is made up of a speech recognizer (for decoding the spoken utterance into a word sequence), a natural language translator (for converting a word sequence into a sequence of signs belonging to the sign language), and a 3D avatar animation module (for playing back the hand movements). Two proposals for natural language translation have been evaluated: a rule-based translation module (that computes sign confidence measures from the word confidence measures obtained in the speech recognition module) and a statistical translation module (in this case, parallel corpora were used for training the statistical model). The best configuration reported 31.6% SER (Sign Error Rate) and 0.5780 BLEU (BiLingual Evaluation Understudy). The paper also describes the eSIGN 3D avatar animation module (considering the sign confidence), and the limitations found when implementing a strategy for reducing the delay between the spoken utterance and the sign sequence animation.