Affiliations: Institute of Computational Linguistics, University of Zurich, Switzerland. E-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com | Chair of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulation, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Note:  The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement FP7-ICT-247914. The authors would like to thank Norbert E. Fuchs for useful comments on the draft of this paper.
Abstract: User interfaces are a critical aspect of semantic knowledge representation systems, as users have to understand and use a formal representation language to model a particular domain of interest, which is known to be a difficult task. Things are even more challenging in a multilingual setting, where users speaking different languages have to create a multilingual ontology. To address these problems, we introduce a semantic wiki system that is based on controlled natural language to provide an intuitive yet formal interface. We use a well-defined subset of Attempto Controlled English (ACE) implemented in Grammatical Framework to automatically produce precise bidirectional translations between ACE and language fragments of a number of other natural languages, making the wiki content accessible multilingually. Because ACE has a partial but deterministic mapping to the Web Ontology Language, our wiki engine can offer automatic reasoning and question answering on the wiki content. Users speaking different languages can therefore build, query, and view a common knowledge base in their own language. We present the results of a user evaluation where participants using different languages were asked to write and assess statements about European geography. Our results show that users reach a high level of consensus, which is not negatively affected by the presence of automatic translation.