How Translation Alters Sentiment

Mohammad, Saif M., Salameh, Mohammad, Kiritchenko, Svetlana

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research 

Sentiment analysis research has predominantly been on English texts. Thus there exist many sentiment resources for English, but less so for other languages. Approaches to improve sentiment analysis in a resource-poor focus language include: (a) translate the focus language text into a resource-rich language such as English, and apply a powerful English sentiment analysis system on the text, and (b) translate resources such as sentiment labeled corpora and sentiment lexicons from English into the focus language, and use them as additional resources in the focus-language sentiment analysis system. In this paper we systematically examine both options. We use Arabic social media posts as stand-in for the focus language text. We show that sentiment analysis of English translations of Arabic texts produces competitive results, w.r.t.