Court Stenography-to-Text ( STT ) in Hong Kong: a Jurilinguistic Engineering Effort

Implementation of legal bilingualism in Hong Kong after 1997 has necessitated the production of voluminous and extensive court proceedings and judgments in both Chinese and English. For the former, Cantonese, a dialect of Chinese, is the home language of more than 90% of the population in Hong Kong and so used in the courts. To record speech in Cantonese verbatim, a Chinese Computer-Aided Transcription system has been developed. The transcription system converts stenographic codes into Chinese text, i.e. from phonetic to orthographic representation of the language. The main challenge lies in the resolution of the sever ambiguity resulting from homocode problems in the conversion process. Cantonese Chinese is typified by problematic homonymy, which presents serious challenges. The N-gram statistical model is employed to estimate the most probable character string of the input transcription codes. Domain-specific corpora have been compiled to support the statistical computation. To improve accuracy, scalable techniques such as domain-specific transcription and special encoding are used. Put together, these techniques deliver 96% transcription accuracy
Published in 2006