Is the pivot language approach ever a good option?

A pivot language is a third or intermediate language that can bridge the gap between language pairs. For example, if there are translations between English to French and the same English to Spanish available, through the pivot language English, translations between French and Spanish can be generated.

The major drawback and concern of generated translations through pivoting is the translation quality, as it is possible to produce erroneous translations by transferring errors or ambiguities from a language pair to another through the pivot language. However, when language resources in specific language pairs do not exist or are scarce, the use of pivot languages as data bridges can prove to be a convenient linguistic shortcut for offering language services or building and enhancing language resources.


Source: TAUS

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