Published online by Cambridge University Press: 21 March 2012
We present a general, novel methodology for extracting multi-word expressions (MWEs) of various types, along with their translations, from small, word-aligned parallel corpora. Unlike existing approaches, we focus on misalignments; these typically indicate expressions in the source language that are translated to the target in a non-compositional way. We introduce a simple algorithm that proposes MWE candidates based on such misalignments, relying on 1:1 alignments as anchors that delimit the search space. We use a large monolingual corpus to rank and filter these candidates. Evaluation of the quality of the extraction algorithm reveals significant improvements over naïve alignment-based methods. The extracted MWEs, with their translations, are used in the training of a statistical machine translation system, showing a small but significant improvement in its performance.