Recent work has shown that neural feature- and representation-learning, e.g. BERT, achieves superior performance over traditional manual feature engineering based approaches, with e.g. SVMs, in translationese classification tasks. Previous research did not show (i) whether the difference is because of the features, the classifiers or both, and (ii) what the neural classifiers actually learn. To address (i), we carefully design experiments that swap features between BERT- and SVM-based classifiers. We show that an SVM fed with BERT representations performs at the level of the best BERT classifiers, while BERT learning and using handcrafted features performs at the level of an SVM using handcrafted features. This shows that the performance differences are due to the features. To address (ii) we use integrated gradients and find that (a) there is indication that information captured by hand-crafted features is only a subset of what BERT learns, and (b) part of BERT’s top performance results are due to BERT learning topic differences and spurious correlations with translationese.
Traditional hand-crafted linguistically-informed features have often been used for distinguishing between translated and original non-translated texts. By contrast, to date, neural architectures without manual feature engineering have been less explored for this task. In this work, we (i) compare the traditional feature-engineering-based approach to the feature-learning-based one and (ii) analyse the neural architectures in order to investigate how well the hand-crafted features explain the variance in the neural models’ predictions. We use pre-trained neural word embeddings, as well as several end-to-end neural architectures in both monolingual and multilingual settings and compare them to feature-engineering-based SVM classifiers. We show that (i) neural architectures outperform other approaches by more than 20 accuracy points, with the BERT-based model performing the best in both the monolingual and multilingual settings; (ii) while many individual hand-crafted translationese features correlate with neural model predictions, feature importance analysis shows that the most important features for neural and classical architectures differ; and (iii) our multilingual experiments provide empirical evidence for translationese universals across languages.
This paper presents the Automatic Post-editing (APE) systems submitted by the DFKI-MLT group to the WMT’18 APE shared task. Three monolingual neural sequence-to-sequence APE systems were trained using target-language data only: one using an attentional recurrent neural network architecture and two using the attention-only (transformer) architecture. The training data was composed of machine translated (MT) output used as source to the APE model aligned with their manually post-edited version or reference translation as target. We made use of the provided training sets only and trained APE models applicable to phrase-based and neural MT outputs. Results show better performances reached by the attention-only model over the recurrent one, significant improvement over the baseline when post-editing phrase-based MT output but degradation when applied to neural MT output.