Friday, May 20, 2016

Urdu Morphology, Lexicon Extraction, Website Content Extraction, Roman Urdu Conversion Tools along with Partial Urdu Grammar Syntax and a Urdu Lexicon of 4163 words and 96840 word forms in ASCII and Unicode

The above resource URL provides following:

  1. Urdu Morphology Tool
  2. Urdu Lexicon extraction Tool
  3. Urdu and Roman Urdu Conversion Tool
  4. Urdu Website Content extraction in both HTML and TEXT formats
  5. Partial Urdu Grammar Syntax
  6. A lexicon of 4163 words and 96840 word forms.

And is authored/developed by Muhammad Humayoun and published under GNU General Public License.

Towards Urdu Corpus: Mining Wikipedia Urdu using Wikiforia Parser


Corpus collection is the first step before you even think of Machine Learning and Linguistics. While there are some serious concerted efforts and progress made in different languages to compile and publish Languages Corpora, Urdu Language is no where to be seen in this context. Why? this warrants a separate detailed post, which I will inshaAllah write some time in near future.

In this post, I want to share my first hand experience of collecting a sizable raw Urdu Plain Text from Open Source Wikipedia, so not only I can use it in my research, but will also be able to publish it under Open Source License for others to benefit from it.

Wikipedia-logo-v2-urWikipedia publishes complete database backup dumps of

“all Wikimedia wikis, in the form of wikitext source and metadata embedded in XML. A number of raw database tables in SQL form are also available”. “These snapshots are provided at the very least monthly and usually twice a month.”

As I was interested in Wikipedia Urdu, I downloaded following two files from the Wikipedia Urdu Database Backup Dumps page:

Next task was to extract actual page content from these dump files which follows a specific schema. Wikipedia has a comprehensive list of open source parsers written in different programming languages and published under different types of open source licenses. Because my goal was to collect open source Urdu Plain “Text” and my programming language choice was “Java”, I opt for Wikiforia.

“Wikiforia is a library and a tool for parsing Wikipedia XML dumps and converting them into plain text for other tools to use.”

So, I began by cloning the Wikiforia github repository locally on my laptop and then ran following command on the terminal:

java -jar wikiforia-1.2.1.jar 
     -pages urwiki-20160501-pages-articles-multistream.xml.bz2 
     -output output.xml

The program worked perfectly and uses concurrency (one thread per logical cores) to speed up the processing. It took few minutes to complete the task, however the output was not pure plain text, in fact it was a simplified form of XML and looks like:


At that time I had two options:

  1. Run another tool to convert this output file from XML to Plain Text, or
  2. Add custom implementation to Wikiforia to make it output pure Plain Text

I opt for second one for two reasons, first I don’t want to waste additional time and processor cycles to process the generated output once again, secondly I thought that there might be others who will benefit from this modification.

So I forked Wikiforia and add a new Sink Implementation I also had to modify the main program “”, to add CLI support for additional switch “outputformat” with a sensible default set to “xml”, with only two possible values (for now) “xml” and “plain-text”. And once I did that, I also submitted the “Pull Request” on the Wikiforia github repository, in case they decided to merge the patch on to the original repository.

Then, I ran following modified command to extract the “Plain Text” out from the Wikipedia Urdu Database Dumps:

java -jar wikiforia-1.2.1.jar 
     -pages urwiki-20160501-pages-articles-multistream.xml.bz2 
     -output output.txt
     -outputformat plain-text

And here’s how plain text output.txt looks like:


Finally alhamdolillah! I made my first contribution to the Urdu Corpus Community Project.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Alhamdolillah! First Urdu Corpus Package Published – Wikipedia Urdu 20160407


We are happy to announce that our first Urdu Corpus Package has been published!


Package Name: Wikipedia Urdu 20160407
Release Date: 2016-05-10
Language: Urdu
Content Type Description: Unprocessed Plain Urdu Text
License: Open Source Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Source Name: Wikipedia Urdu
Source URL:
Un-compressed File Size: 108 MB
Un-compressed File Type: Text (.txt)
Compressed File Size: 21.4 MB
Compressed File Type: RAR (.rar)
Submitted By: Syed Muhammad Humayun -
Submission Date: 2016-05-10
Download URL: wikipedia-urdu-20160407.rar (21.4 MB) | (.md5) | (.sha1)
Info/Comments: For details on how we created this package and the complete process, technology and tools involved, read a detailed post here.

View complete list of Published Urdu Corpus Packages.

Please drop us your feedback, comments, suggestions or questions below. We would love to hear from you and will respond ASAP inshaAllah.