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We present highlights from three experiments that test the readability of current state-of-the art system output from: (1) an automated English speech-to-text (SST) system; (2) a text-based Arabic-to-English machine translation (MT) system; and (3) an audio-based Arabic-to-English MT process. We measure readability in terms of reaction time and passage comprehension in each case, applying standard psycholinguistic testing procedures and a modified version of the standard defense language proficiency test for Arabic called the DLPT*. We learned that: (1) subjects are slowed down by about 25% when reading system STT output; (2) text-based MT systems enable an English speaker to pass Arabic Level 2 on the DLPT*; and (3) audio-based MT systems do not enable English speakers to pass Arabic Level 2. We intend for these generic measures of readability to predict performance of more application-specific tasks.
Date of Conference: 18-23 March 2005