This work takes a critical look at the evaluation of user-generated content automatic translation, the well-known specificities of which raise many challenges for MT. Our analyses show that measuring the average-case performance using a standard metric on a UGC test set falls far short of giving a reliable image of the UGC translation quality. That is why we introduce a new data set for the evaluation of UGC translation in which UGC specificities have been manually annotated using a fine-grained typology. Using this data set, we conduct several experiments to measure the impact of different kinds of UGC specificities on translation quality, more precisely than previously possible.
This work explores the capacities of character-based Neural Machine Translation to translate noisy User-Generated Content (UGC) with a strong focus on exploring the limits of such approaches to handle productive UGC phenomena, which almost by definition, cannot be seen at training time. Within a strict zero-shot scenario, we first study the detrimental impact on translation performance of various user-generated content phenomena on a small annotated dataset we developed and then show that such models are indeed incapable of handling unknown letters, which leads to catastrophic translation failure once such characters are encountered. We further confirm this behavior with a simple, yet insightful, copy task experiment and highlight the importance of reducing the vocabulary size hyper-parameter to increase the robustness of character-based models for machine translation.
This paper describes LIMSI’s submissions to the translation shared tasks at WMT’20. This year we have focused our efforts on the biomedical translation task, developing a resource-heavy system for the translation of medical abstracts from English into French, using back-translated texts, terminological resources as well as multiple pre-processing pipelines, including pre-trained representations. Systems were also prepared for the robustness task for translating from English into German; for this large-scale task we developed multi-domain, noise-robust, translation systems aim to handle the two test conditions: zero-shot and few-shot domain adaptation.
This work compares the performances achieved by Phrase-Based Statistical Machine Translation systems (PB-SMT) and attention-based Neuronal Machine Translation systems (NMT) when translating User Generated Content (UGC), as encountered in social medias, from French to English. We show that, contrary to what could be expected, PBSMT outperforms NMT when translating non-canonical inputs. Our error analysis uncovers the specificities of UGC that are problematic for sequential NMT architectures and suggests new avenue for improving NMT models.
We present an approach to correct noisy User Generated Content (UGC) in French aiming to produce a pretreatement pipeline to improve Machine Translation for this kind of non-canonical corpora. In order to do so, we have implemented a character-based neural model phonetizer to produce IPA pronunciations of words. In this way, we intend to correct grammar, vocabulary and accentuation errors often present in noisy UGC corpora. Our method leverages on the fact that some errors are due to confusion induced by words with similar pronunciation which can be corrected using a phonetic look-up table to produce normalization candidates. These potential corrections are then encoded in a lattice and ranked using a language model to output the most probable corrected phrase. Compare to using other phonetizers, our method boosts a transformer-based machine translation system on UGC.
L’alternance codique est le phénomène qui consiste à alterner les langues au cours d’une même conversation ou d’une même phrase. Avec l’augmentation du volume généré par les utilisateurs, ce phénomène essentiellement oral, se retrouve de plus en plus dans les textes écrits, nécessitant d’adapter les tâches et modèles de traitement automatique de la langue à ce nouveau type d’énoncés. Ce travail présente la collecte et l’annotation en partie du discours d’un corpus d’énoncés comportant des alternances codiques et évalue leur impact sur la tâche d’analyse morpho-syntaxique.