What is Bilingual Word Sketch?

The Bilingual Word Sketch is an extension of the Word Sketch feature. It lets the user pick a word in one language and a translation into another language and compare how the words behave by observing collocates grouped into categories by grammatical relations.

What is the Bilingual Word Sketch for?

The list of collocates tell us whether the word and its translation share the same meaning in both languages or whether there are alterations or the words are completely different. In addition, the collocations will often be helpful when looking for a good translation of a collocation in the source language.

The example below shows a Bilingual Word Sketch for the English word house and its German translation Haus. Because the grammatical relations differ from language to language, comparison is limited to similar rather than identical grammatical categories.


How to generate the Bilingual Word Sketch?

Use the same procedure as with the Word Sketch. Log in to Sketch Engine (or click Home) and select a corpus.

Select a corpus

Corpus selection

In the left menu select Word Sketch, type a lemma (1), select a part of speech or leave at auto if the option exists and click Advanced options. In the Bilingual Word Sketch section further below:

bilingual word sketch comparing a word and translation from corpus

(4) select a language, a corpus, type a lemma and select a part of speech. You can also select or de-delect grammatical categories to be displayed. Click (5) to show the Bilingual Word Sketch.

Result screen description

The result screen looks as follows:

Bilingual word sketch - compare translation by collocations

Collocates are grouped by grammatical relations and the frequency and score (the collocation strength) is shown. Click the underlined frequency next to each collocate to see a concordance with examples which will illustrate the type of grammatical relation.

(1) the header shows the following information for both languages: the lemma, part of speech, alternative parts of speech, name of the corpus and frequency

(2) automatically generated suggestions of other possible translations of the word

(3) click any of the collocates to display a search pop-up to generate a new Bilingual Word Sketch. It is necessary to type the translation of the collocate and select a PoS.

Result screen - left menu options

The left menu of the word sketch result screen gives these options:

saves the word sketch as txt or XML file

Change options
opens the advanced setting dialogue (described on this page) to change options

will cluster collocates by meaning, collocates similar in meaning will be grouped together

Sort by freq/score
will toggle the way the collocates are sorted: by frequency or by the strength of the collocation (score)

Hide/Show gramrels
show gramrels
collocates are categorized into groups
hide gramrels collocates are displayed as one long list with grammatical relation, frequency and score listed

More data
will load more collocates, the columns will contain more items

Less data
will load fewer collocates, the columns will contain fewer items

Statistics behind word sketches

The statistics used in Sketch Engine to calculate word sketches is described in this document.

Referencing bilingual word sketches, Bibliography

Kovář, Vojtěch, Vít Baisa, and Miloš Jakubíček. Sketch Engine for bilingual lexicographyInternational Journal of Lexicography 29.3 (2016): 339-352.

Vít Baisa, Miloš Jakubíček, Adam Kilgarriff, Vojtěch Kovář and Pavel Rychlý. Bilingual Word Sketches: the translate Button. In Proceedings of the 16th EURALEX International Congress. Bolzano, Italy, 15–19 July 2014, pp. 505–513.

Adam Kilgarriff. Terminology finding, parallel corpora and bilingual word sketches in the Sketch Engine. In Proceedings ASLIB 35th Translating and the Computer Conference, London, May 2013, pp. 129–132.