Christian Khairallah (Cayralat)
كريستيان خيرالله

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résumé (last updated in June 2024)

I am currently embarking on the entrepreneurship journey, and on my way to building my product, Aralects, the Arabic Dialect language learning app. Before that, I freelanced as a Speech Technology Scientist as part of the Machine Translation team at AppTek. Additionally, I am affiliated with New York University Abu Dhabi as a visiting scholar [page], where I am finishing up papers, and consulting on a few matters.

Just before that, I was a full-time research assistant at the Computational Approaches to Modeling Language (CAMeL) Lab at New York University Abu Dhabi, under the supervision of Prof. Nizar Habash.

I graduated with distinction in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the American University of Beirut (AUB) with a minor in English Language, and with a double Master of Science in Computational Linguistics from Charles University in Prague and Saarland University in Germany, where I attended both as part of the Language and Communication Technologies (LCT) Erasmus Mundus Master's program.

During my Master's, I focused on processing spontaneous orthography in Dialectal Arabic, which is the result of it lacking any standard orthography, working on tasks such as morphological analysis and segmentation, character-level neural machine translation, spelling correction, and taxonomy and dataset creation.

On the personal level, I am a big language enthusiast, and I am currently especially interested in the history of Semitic languages, and more specifically in the Arabic branch and how current variants came to co-exist with Classical Arabic in a diglossic relationship. I am natively fluent in Arabic, French, and English, beginner-level in German, and I am currently learning Italian. In my spare time, I am an avid mélomane and I am interested in the history of music in general, I mostly go hiking, cycle, swim, play ping pong, practice yoga, cook, and father a crew of insufferable indoor plants.


In my work, I focused on computational approaches aiming to reconcile the disparity between Modern Standard Arabic and Dialectal Arabic, both in terms of resource creation and processing tools. In addition to leveraging the latest computational methods to solve current NLP problems, I took a keen interest in dialectal and standard Arabic morphology and syntax over the span of two years. Here are the things I worked on (or am still involved in):