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MT-EQuAl: a Toolkit for Human Assessment of Machine Translation Output
The annotation interface is created to carry out three annotation tasks, namely:
− Task 1: Translation quality rating.
− Task 2: Annotation of translation errors.
− Task 3: Word alignment.
For details about the tasks see the documentation in the docs/ directory.
To work with the interface, you must use one of the supported browsers: Chrome, Safari, Firefox.
All code is available at:
This tool is based on Apache, Mysql, PhP software. For their easier installation you can download MAMP ( for Mac OSX, LAMP ( for Linux, or WAMP ( for Windows platform.
In the case your computer doesn't meet the requirements you can follow these steps:
- Step 1: Install Apache
Apache is a free open source software which runs over 50% of the world’s web servers.
To install apache, open terminal and type in these commands:
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install apache2
That’s it. To check if Apache is installed, direct your browser to http://localhost/ and the page should display the words “It works!".
- Step 2: Install MySQL
MySQL is a powerful database management system used for organizing and retrieving data
To install MySQL, open terminal and type in these commands:
$ sudo apt-get install mysql-server libapache2-mod-auth-mysql php5-mysql
During the installation, MySQL will ask you to set a root password. If you miss the chance to set the password while the program is installing, it is very easy to set the password later from within the MySQL shell.
Once you have installed MySQL, we should activate it with this command:
$ sudo mysql_install_db
Finish up by running the MySQL set up script:
$ sudo /usr/bin/mysql_secure_installation
The prompt will ask you for your current root password. Type it in.
Then the prompt will ask you if you want to change the root password. Go ahead and choose N and move on to the next steps.
It’s easiest just to say Yes to all the options. At the end, MySQL will reload and implement the new changes.
- Step 3: Install PHP
PHP is an open source web scripting language that is widely use to build dynamic webpages.
To install PHP, open terminal and type in this command:
$ sudo apt-get install php5 libapache2-mod-php5 php5-mcrypt
After you answer yes to the prompt twice, PHP will install itself.
It may also be useful to add php to the directory index, to serve the relevant php index files:
$ sudo nano /etc/apache2/mods-enabled/dir.conf
Add index.php to the beginning of index files. The page should now look like this:
<IfModule mod_dir.c>
DirectoryIndex index.php index.html index.cgi index.php index.xhtml index.htm
Install the MySQL module for php5, type:
$ sudo apt-get install php5-mysql
Finally, once you have installed Apache, PHP, and MySQL correctly you can deploy MT-EQuAl code.
Unzip or clone the Github repository ( in your Apache document root directory (for example /www/html/).
Edit the file initdb.conf and change the value of DB_USER and DB_PASSWORD according to your MySQL installation.
The default MT-EQuAl root username is "root" with empty password (this user has full administrator privileges). An essential step to secure your MT-EQuAl site is to change your root user credentials, so to prevent your site from being hacked. In order to change the root login edit the ROOTNAME and ROOTPWD in the file initdb.conf.
If your web server is configured correctly, you should now find your MT-EQuAl application accessible at If your Apache configuration needs a non standard port number you have to add it to the local address like[portnumber]/mtequal/.
Congratulations! You now have MT-EQuAl stack on your machine!
- Create an empty MT-EQuAl database
You will need the init_mtequal.db file located in the data/ directory and to type in these commands:
$ mysqladmin -u root -p<PASSWORD> create mtequal
$ mysql -u root -p<PASSWORD> mtequal < data/init_mtequal.db
It is also possible to restore a previous dump of the database following this command:
$ mysql -u root -p<PASSWORD> mtequal < data/dump/FILE.sql
The page admin.php allows you to upload the sentences for a specific task. It accepts several UTF-8 encoded csv files: one for the source sentences, one for the reference translation (optional), and one file for each of MT outputs to be evaluated.
Each file must contain three columns per line, separated by a tabular space:
- sentence ID;
- language (en, ar, it, zh,...);
- the sentence (using UTF-8 encoding).
See some examples in the directory data/input/.
This work has been partially supported by the EC-funded project MateCat (ICT-2011.4.2-287688