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Language Technology Resources

Introduction

What are the Acquis Communautaire and the JRC-Acquis?

The Acquis Communautaire (AC) is the total body of European Union (EU) law applicable in the the EU Member States. This collection of legislative text changes continuously and currently comprises selected texts written between the 1950s and now. As of the beginning of the year 2007, the EU had 27 Member States and 23 official languages. The Acquis Communautaire texts exist in these languages, although Irish translations are not currently available. The Acquis Communautaire thus is a collection of parallel texts in the following 22 languages: Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, German, Greek, English, Spanish, Estonian, Finnish, French, Hungarian, Italian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Maltese, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene and Swedish.

The data release by the JRC is in line with the general effort of the European Commission to support multilingualism, language diversity and the re-use of Commission information.

The Optima group of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre did not receive an authoritative list of documents that belong to the Acquis Communautaire. In order to compile the document collection distributed here, we selected all those CELEX documents (see below) that were available in at least ten of the twenty EU-25 languages (the official languages of the EU before Bulgaria and Romania joined in 2007) and that additionally existed in at least three of the nine languages that became official languages with the Enlargement of the EU in 2004 (i.e. Czech, Estonian, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Maltese, Polish, Slovak and Slovene). The collection distributed here is thus an approximation of the Acquis Communautaire which we call the JRC-Acquis. The JRC-Acquis must not be seen as a legal reference corpus. Instead, the purpose of the JRC-Acquis is to provide a large parallel corpus of documents for (computational) linguistics research purposes.

The linguistic research interest of the JRC-Acquis
Generally speaking, parallel corpora are useful for all types of cross-lingual research. The value of a parallel corpus grows with its size and with the number of languages for which translations exist. While parallel corpora for some languages exist abundantly, there are few or no parallel corpora for most other language pairs. To our knowledge, the Acquis Communautaire is the biggest parallel corpus in existence, if we take into consideration both its size and the large number of languages involved. The most outstanding advantage of the Acquis Communautaire - apart from being freely available - is the number of rare language pair combinations (e.g. Maltese-Estonian, Slovene-Finnish, etc.).

The AC and other Community legislation is publicly available on the European Commission's web sites. The Optima group of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra, Italy, has attempted to identify the documents that are part of the AC, has downloaded them and converted them to XML format. The Bulgarian and Romanian documents were processed by the Romanian Academy of Sciences (http://www.racai.ro/). In further processing steps, the texts were cleaned of their footers and annexes, and they were sentence-aligned twice: once using Vanilla and once using HunAlign. Instead of using a single pivot language, all possible 231 language pair combinations were aligned individually. This is useful due to the n-to-n relationship between aligned sentences, which often differs depending on the language pair involved.

For some of the documents, only preliminary translations were available. For the online texts in some of the languages, only the title has been translated, but the text displayed is English. An automatic language recognition tool was therefore used to filter out those texts that are displayed as being one language, but which are actually English. No manual check was carried out.

The European Commission's Office for Official Publications OPOCE manages the distribution rights of this aligned multilingual parallel corpus. OPOCE agreed that the corpus can be given to research partners for non-commercial use. See the section on licensing issues, below.

Statistics for version 3.0 of the JRC-Acquis corpus

The JRC-Acquis corpus (version 3.0) is currently available in 22 languages with the following distribution:

Language ISO code

Number of texts

Text body

Signatures

Annexes

Total No words (text + signatures + annexes):

Total No words

Total No characters

Average No words

Total No words

Total No words

bg

11384

16140819

104522671

1417.85

2170075

14114612

32425506

cs

21438

22843279

148972981

1065.55

7225300

16763733

46832312

da

23624

31459627

213468135

1331.68

2629786

16855213

50944626

de

23541

32059892

232748675

1361.87

2542149

16327611

50929652

el

23184

36453749

239583543

1572.37

2973574

16459680

55887003

en

23545

34588383

210692059

1469.03

3198766

17750761

55537910

es

23573

38926161

238016756

1651.3

3490204

19716243

62132608

et

23541

24621625

192700704

1045.9

1336051

14995748

40953424

fi

23284

24883012

212178964

1068.67

2677798

12547171

40107981

fr

23627

39100499

234758290

1654.91

3021013

19978920

62100432

hu

22801

28602380

213804614

1254.44

2529488

15056496

46188364

it

23472

35764670

230677013

1523.72

3120797

18331535

57217002

lt

23379

26937773

199438258

1152.22

2436585

15018484

44392842

lv

22906

27592514

196452051

1204.6

1673124

15437969

44703607

mt

10545

20926909

128906748

1984.53

1336042

15620611

37883562

nl

23564

35265161

231963539

1496.57

3039580

18467115

56771856

pl

23478

29713003

214464026

1265.57

2513141

17027393

49253537

pt

23505

37221668

227499418

1583.56

3034308

19350227

59606203

ro

6573

9186947

60537301

1397.68

514296

11185842

20887085

ro-19211 (readme)

19211

30832212

182631277

1604.92

---

---

30832212

sk

21943

26792637

179920434

1221.01

3227852

16190546

46211035

sl

20642

27702305

178651767

1342.04

3103193

16837717

47643215

sv

20243

29433037

199004401

1453.99

2575771

14965384

46974192

Total

463,792

636,216,050

4,288,962,348

1387.23

60,368,893

358,999,011

1,055,583,954

Size of version 3.0 of the JRC collection of the Acquis Communautaire in22 of the official languages of the European Union.  Numbers are given separately for the text body (the main text), the signature and the annexes.

Statistics on the alignment with Vanilla:

  • Total of 4,350,447 aligned documents (all languages);
  • Total of 243,187,303 links (all languages);
  • Average of 18,833 aligned documents per language;
  • Average of 1,052,759 links per language pair (average of all language pairs);
  • Average of 85.43% of one-to-one links.

What is the difference between the DGT Translation Memory and the JRC-Acquis

The two resources are rather similar in nature as they are both based on the Acquis Communautaire, but they are not identical and can both serve different purposes. The main differences are the following:

  • The collection of documents of both resources should mostly be the same, but they are not identical as both resources were collected in different ways. None of the resources is exactly equivalent to the Acquis Communautaire. The criteria for the collection of the JRC-Acquis were rather loose (all documents were collected which were available in at least ten languages of which at least three 'new' EU languages) so that the JRC-Acquis is bigger.
  • The DGT Translation Memory is a collection of translation units, from which the full text cannot be reproduced. The JRC-Acquis is mostly a collection of full texts with additional information on which sentences are aligned with which others.
  • Most parts of the DGT Translation Memory have been corrected manually using the Euramis alignment editor, while the alignment of the JRC-Acquis documents was done using the two alternative alignment software tools Vanilla and HunAlign, without manual correction.
  • For the cleaning and pre-processing of the texts, different methods and tools were used.
  • Most JRC-Acquis documents are acompanied by information on the manually assigned Eurovoc subject domain classes so that the JRC-Acquis can also be used to train automatic multi-label classification software.

Usage conditions / Licensing issues

Acquis Communautaire corpus

According to an agreement with the European Commission's Office for Official Publications OPOCE, the AC corpus can be used and distributed for research purposes, but the following usage conditions must be adhered to:

The European Communities consider legislative and quasi-legislative documents published in the Official Journal of the European Union and related COM and SEC series as well as charters and treaties and ECJ case-law to be in the public domain. Prior written permission is thus not required for their reproduction/translation, and they may be reproduced/translated freely without restriction, including for the purpose of further non-commercial dissemination to final users, subject to the condition that appropriate acknowledgement is given to the European Communities and to the source, and provided that the additional guidelines set out below are respected.

  1. Whenever a document is reproduced verbatim from a source other than the printed version of the Official Journal of the European Union, a prominently positioned disclaimer should read: 'Only European Community legislation printed in the paper edition of the Official Journal of the European Union is deemed authentic.'
  2. For the reasons stated in the disclaimer above, it is advisable to ensure that translations are made from the printed, authentic version of the Official Journal. This precaution, while minimizing the risk of error, does not confer any legal status whatsoever to the translated text. The following notice shall accompany the translated text, printed below the acknowledgement: 'Originally published in the official languages of the European Union in the Official Journal of the European Union by the Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. Responsibility for the translation into [specify language] from the original [specify language] edition lies entirely with [name of translation copyright holder].' Moreover, please note that we do not consider a "further commercial dissemination" the inclusion, as reference material for consultation purposes, of small amounts of relevant legislative texts in articles/thesis/studies/reports/books issued by third-party authors or publishers, whatever the means, and disseminated subject to payment.

Eurovoc thesaurus

Unlike the AC corpus, the EuroVoc Thesaurus must not be used or disseminated without prior written permission from the European Commission's Office for Official Publications OPOCE. If you want to get the rights to use Eurovoc and to receive a copy of the multilingual thesaurus, please contact OPOCE at OP-INFO-COPYRIGHT@publications.europa.eu, mentioning the file reference number 2005-COP-395. To our knowledge, the licence is free of charge for research purposes. For a commercial licence, please contact OPOCE.

Download the JRC-Acquis corpus

AC Corpus - version 3.0 (by language)

AC aligned corpus using Vanilla aligner

AC aligned corpus using HunAlign

By downloading these resources, you agree to the usage conditions.

Previous version: JRC-ACQUIS Multilingual Parallel Corpus, Version 2.2.

Click here to see a history of changes regarding the preparation of this corpus.

Acknowledgement / Reference publication

A description of the JRC-Acquis corpus (version 2.2) was published in the paper below. Please use this reference publication when referring to the JRC-Acquis.

Steinberger Ralf,  Bruno Pouliquen, Anna Widiger, Camelia Ignat, Tomaž Erjavec, Dan Tufis, Dániel Varga (2006). The JRC-Acquis: A multilingual aligned parallel corpus with 20+ languages. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'2006). Genoa, Italy, 24-26 May 2006.