Time: 2pm-3pm, Friday, Oct 8, 2010 Place: Room 4102, CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave (34str&35str). Speaker: Martin Jansche (Google) Title: Automatic Transliteration of Proper Names: Practice and Experience Abstract: If you've ever seen street artists who offer to write your name in Chinese characters, you have encountered the problem of proper name transliteration. It is a pervasive problem that arises in many multi-lingual applications. I will describe recent practice and experience with proper name transliteration in the context of a deep internationalization of Google Maps. In order to produce a world map in e.g. Japanese, millions of named entities had to be transliterated from a variety of source languages into Japanese. I will discuss in detail the linguistic issues underlying transliteration into a variety of languages and describe some of the techniques used, including hand-crafted rules, automatically trained finite-state models, and automatic extraction of transliterations from Wikipedia. I will highlight several lessons we learned while designing a large-scale multi-lingual transliteration system. Joint work with Sascha Brawer, Richard Sproat, Hiroshi Takenaka, and Yui Terashima. Speaker Bio: Martin Jansche's research interests are in empirical methods in automatic natural language and speech processing. He received his PhD in 2003 from the Ohio State University and joined the Center for Computational Learning Systems at Columbia University. In 2007, he joined Google, Inc. in New York as part of the speech research group, working on web search and speech applications.