Semantic parsing is the task of translating natural language into a formal meaning representation on which a machine can act.

What's the opposite called? I.e. "translating a logical formalism into a 'informal' meaning representation in natural language on which a human can act." (but in a way that leaves no room for ambiguity?)

  • I'm only aware of generic terms like decoder (from encoder/decoder models of machine learning) or language generation but not for a specific term for the particular situation described in the question. Jun 24, 2022 at 12:18

2 Answers 2


(Natural) Language Generation. Although not an opposite of specifically semantic parsing, because a good NLG needs more than just expressing the semantic...

  • But let's be specific then...
    – dfgdfdfg
    Jun 24, 2022 at 11:22
  • Just for clarification: Is there really no approximate term for this or do you just feel the question is nonsensical?
    – dfgdfdfg
    Jun 24, 2022 at 11:58
  • 2
    A question for a term is almost always making sense, even if there is no such term coined (yet). Jun 24, 2022 at 12:18
  • 1
    @dfgdfdfg Well, the answer to what is the term for "translating a logical formalism into a 'informal' meaning representation in natural language on which a human can act.", then the answer is NLG for sure. The issue is that semantic parsing, as the term was understood in the past, is not in vogue right now. Also depends on how deep the semantic representation is - the reverse can be just a dictionary lookup in simple cases. But then you need proper inflections (unless you are working with English), proper syntax etc., i.e. full blown NLG. Unless you are filling into predefined text templates. Jun 24, 2022 at 14:57
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    (This is getting off-topic now, moderators may move this question into chat) What I'd want to know is, [if such a "reverse semantic parser" existed] would I be forced to use formal meaning representation languages or could I use much more "pure" models of computation (for example untyped lambda calc instead of λ-DCS)? What I'd want to have is a software that is able to take any turing equivalent formalisms and translate it into a sentence in natural language with equivalent semantic structure. Does this exist?
    – dfgdfdfg
    Jun 28, 2022 at 4:05

For the whole machine translation process there is a frequently reproduced diagram, named Vauquois triangle, and this triangle has a line labelled Semantic generation corresponding to the specific process in the question.

Vauquois triangle, quoted from Sameerchand Pudaruth, Lallesh Sookun, and Arvind Kumar 2013: English to Creole and Creole to English Rule Based Machine Translation System,DOI: 10.14569/IJACSA.2013.040805

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