Who Are We Talking About? Handling Person Names in Speech Translation

Marco Gaido, Matteo Negri, Marco Turchi


Abstract
Recent work has shown that systems for speech translation (ST) – similarly to automatic speech recognition (ASR) – poorly handle person names. This shortcoming does not only lead to errors that can seriously distort the meaning of the input, but also hinders the adoption of such systems in application scenarios (like computer-assisted interpreting) where the translation of named entities, like person names, is crucial. In this paper, we first analyse the outputs of ASR/ST systems to identify the reasons of failures in person name transcription/translation. Besides the frequency in the training data, we pinpoint the nationality of the referred person as a key factor. We then mitigate the problem by creating multilingual models, and further improve our ST systems by forcing them to jointly generate transcripts and translations, prioritising the former over the latter. Overall, our solutions result in a relative improvement in token-level person name accuracy by 47.8% on average for three language pairs (en->es,fr,it).
Anthology ID:
2022.iwslt-1.6
Volume:
Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2022)
Month:
May
Year:
2022
Address:
Dublin, Ireland (in-person and online)
Venues:
ACL | IWSLT
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
62–73
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/2022.iwslt-1.6
DOI:
10.18653/v1/2022.iwslt-1.6
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Marco Gaido, Matteo Negri, and Marco Turchi. 2022. Who Are We Talking About? Handling Person Names in Speech Translation. In Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2022), pages 62–73, Dublin, Ireland (in-person and online). Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
Who Are We Talking About? Handling Person Names in Speech Translation (Gaido et al., IWSLT 2022)
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/2022.iwslt-1.6.pdf
Code
 hlt-mt/fbk-fairseq
Data
Europarl-ST