You are here
Cross-Language Search in a Monolingual Health Information System: Flexible Designs and Lexical Processes
The predominance of English-only online health information poses a serious challenge to non-English speakers. To overcome this barrier, we incorporated cross-language information retrieval (CLIR) techniques into a fully functional prototype. It supports Spanish language searches over an English data set using a Spanish-English bilingual term list (BTL). The modular design allows for system and BTL growth and takes advantage of English-system enhancements. Language-based design decisions and implications for integrating non-English components with the existing monolingual architecture are presented. Algorithmic and BTL improvements are used to bring CLIR retrieval scores in line with the monolingual values. After validating these changes, we conducted a failure analysis and error categorization for the worst performing queries. We conclude with a comprehensive discussion and directions for future work.