Computer-aided translation (CAT) tools based on translation memories (MT) play a prominent role in the translation workflow of professional translators. However, the reduced availability of in-domain TMs, as compared to in-domain monolingual corpora, limits its adoption for a number of translation tasks. In this paper, we introduce a novel neural approach aimed at overcoming this limitation by exploiting not only TMs, but also in-domain target-language (TL) monolingual corpora, and still enabling a similar functionality to that offered by conventional TM-based CAT tools. Our approach relies on cross-lingual sentence embeddings to retrieve translation proposals from TL monolingual corpora, and on a neural model to estimate their post-editing effort. The paper presents an automatic evaluation of these techniques on four language pairs that shows that our approach can successfully exploit monolingual texts in a TM-based CAT environment, increasing the amount of useful translation proposals, and that our neural model for estimating the post-editing effort enables the combination of translation proposals obtained from monolingual corpora and from TMs in the usual way. A human evaluation performed on a single language pair confirms the results of the automatic evaluation and seems to indicate that the translation proposals retrieved with our approach are more useful than what the automatic evaluation shows.
The MultitraiNMT Erasmus+ project has developed an open innovative syl-labus in machine translation, focusing on neural machine translation (NMT) and targeting both language learners and translators. The training materials include an open access coursebook with more than 250 activities and a pedagogical NMT interface called MutNMT that allows users to learn how neural machine translation works. These materials will allow students to develop the technical and ethical skills and competences required to become informed, critical users of machine translation in their own language learn-ing and translation practice. The pro-ject started in July 2019 and it will end in July 2022.
In the context of neural machine translation, data augmentation (DA) techniques may be used for generating additional training samples when the available parallel data are scarce. Many DA approaches aim at expanding the support of the empirical data distribution by generating new sentence pairs that contain infrequent words, thus making it closer to the true data distribution of parallel sentences. In this paper, we propose to follow a completely different approach and present a multi-task DA approach in which we generate new sentence pairs with transformations, such as reversing the order of the target sentence, which produce unfluent target sentences. During training, these augmented sentences are used as auxiliary tasks in a multi-task framework with the aim of providing new contexts where the target prefix is not informative enough to predict the next word. This strengthens the encoder and forces the decoder to pay more attention to the source representations of the encoder. Experiments carried out on six low-resource translation tasks show consistent improvements over the baseline and over DA methods aiming at extending the support of the empirical data distribution. The systems trained with our approach rely more on the source tokens, are more robust against domain shift and suffer less hallucinations.
In the media industry and the focus of global reporting can shift overnight. There is a compelling need to be able to develop new machine translation systems in a short period of time and in order to more efficiently cover quickly developing stories. As part of the EU project GoURMET and which focusses on low-resource machine translation and our media partners selected a surprise language for which a machine translation system had to be built and evaluated in two months(February and March 2021). The language selected was Pashto and an Indo-Iranian language spoken in Afghanistan and Pakistan and India. In this period we completed the full pipeline of development of a neural machine translation system: data crawling and cleaning and aligning and creating test sets and developing and testing models and and delivering them to the user partners. In this paperwe describe rapid data creation and experiments with transfer learning and pretraining for this low-resource language pair. We find that starting from an existing large model pre-trained on 50languages leads to far better BLEU scores than pretraining on one high-resource language pair with a smaller model. We also present human evaluation of our systems and which indicates that the resulting systems perform better than a freely available commercial system when translating from English into Pashto direction and and similarly when translating from Pashto into English.
The MultiTraiNMT Erasmus+ project aims at developing an open innovative syllabus in neural machine translation (NMT) for language learners and translators as multilingual citizens. Machine translation is seen as a resource that can support citizens in their attempt to acquire and develop language skills if they are trained in an informed and critical way. Machine translation could thus help tackle the mismatch between the desired EU aim of having multilingual citizens who speak at least two foreign languages and the current situation in which citizens generally fall far short of this objective. The training materials consists of an open-access coursebook, an open-source NMT web application called MutNMT for training purposes, and corresponding activities.
This paper describes our approach to create a neural machine translation system to translate between English and Swahili (both directions) in the news domain, as well as the process we followed to crawl the necessary parallel corpora from the Internet. We report the results of a pilot human evaluation performed by the news media organisations participating in the H2020 EU-funded project GoURMET.
This paper studies the effects of word-level linguistic annotations in under-resourced neural machine translation, for which there is incomplete evidence in the literature. The study covers eight language pairs, different training corpus sizes, two architectures, and three types of annotation: dummy tags (with no linguistic information at all), part-of-speech tags, and morpho-syntactic description tags, which consist of part of speech and morphological features. These linguistic annotations are interleaved in the input or output streams as a single tag placed before each word. In order to measure the performance under each scenario, we use automatic evaluation metrics and perform automatic error classification. Our experiments show that, in general, source-language annotations are helpful and morpho-syntactic descriptions outperform part of speech for some language pairs. On the contrary, when words are annotated in the target language, part-of-speech tags systematically outperform morpho-syntactic description tags in terms of automatic evaluation metrics, even though the use of morpho-syntactic description tags improves the grammaticality of the output. We provide a detailed analysis of the reasons behind this result.
This paper describes the two submissions of Universitat d’Alacant to the English-to-Kazakh news translation task at WMT 2019. Our submissions take advantage of monolingual data and parallel data from other language pairs by means of iterative backtranslation, pivot backtranslation and transfer learning. They also use linguistic information in two ways: morphological segmentation of Kazakh text, and integration of the output of a rule-based machine translation system. Our systems were ranked second in terms of chrF++ despite being built from an ensemble of only 2 independent training runs.
The objective of interactive translation prediction (ITP), a paradigm of computer-aided translation, is to assist professional translators by offering context-based computer-generated suggestions as they type. While most state-of-the-art ITP systems are tightly coupled to a machine translation (MT) system (often created ad-hoc for this purpose), our proposal follows a resourceagnostic approach, one that does not need access to the inner workings of the bilingual resources (MT systems or any other bilingual resources) used to generate the suggestions, thus allowing to include new resources almost seamlessly. As we do not expect the user to tolerate more than a few proposals each time, the set of potential suggestions need to be filtered and ranked; the resource-agnostic approach has been evaluated before using a set of intuitive length-based and position-based heuristics designed to determine which suggestions to show, achieving promising results. In this paper, we propose a more principled suggestion ranking approach using a regressor (a multilayer perceptron) that achieves significantly better results.
In this paper, a previous work on the enlargement of monolingual dictionaries of rule-based machine translation systems by non-expert users is extended to tackle the complete task of adding both source-language and target-language words to the monolingual dictionaries and the bilingual dictionary. In the original method, users validate whether some suffix variations of the word to be inserted are correct in order to find the most appropriate inflection paradigm. This method is now improved by taking advantage from the strong correlation detected between paradigms in both languages to reduce the search space of the target-language paradigm once the source-language paradigm is known. Results show that, when the source-language word has already been inserted, the system is able to more accurately predict which is the right target-language paradigm, and the number of queries posed to users is significantly reduced. Experiments also show that, when the source language and the target language are not closely related, it is only the source-language part-of-speech category, but not the rest of information provided by the source-language paradigm, which helps to correctly classify the target-language word.
Some machine translation services like Google Ajax Language API have become very popular as they make the collaboratively created contents of the web 2.0 available to speakers of many languages. One of the keys of its success is its clear and easy-to-use application programming interface (API) and a scalable and reliable service. This paper describes a highly scalable implementation of an Apertium-based translation web service, that aims to make contents available to speakers of lesser resourced languages. The API of this service is compatible with Google’s one, and the scalability of the system is achieved by a new architecture that allows adding or removing new servers at any time; for that, an application placement algorithm which decides which language pairs should be translated on which servers is designed. Our experiments show how the resulting architecture improves the translation rate in comparison to existing Apertium-based servers.
By the time Machine Translation Summit X is held in September 2005, our group will have released an open-source machine translation toolbox as part of a large government-funded project involving four universities and three linguistic technology companies from Spain. The machine translation toolbox, which will most likely be released under a GPL-like license includes (a) the open-source engine itself, a modular shallow-transfer machine translation engine suitable for related languages and largely based upon that of systems we have already developed, such as interNOSTRUM for Spanish—Catalan and Traductor Universia for Spanish—Portuguese, (b) extensive documentation (including document type declarations) specifying the XML format of all linguistic (dictionaries, rules) and document format management files, (c) compilers converting these data into the high-speed (tens of thousands of words a second) format used by the engine, and (d) pilot linguistic data for Spanish—Catalan and Spanish—Galician and format management specifications for the HTML, RTF and plain text formats. After describing very briefly this toolbox, this paper aims at exploring possible consequences of the availability of this architecture, including the community-driven development of machine translation systems for languages lacking this kind of linguistic technology.
It is a common mispreconception to say that machine translation programs translate word-for-word, but real systems follow strategies which are much more complex. This paper proposes a laboratory assignment to study the way in which some commercial machine translation programs translate whole sentences and how the translation differs from a word-for-word translation. Students are expected to infer some of these extra strategies by observing the outcome of real systems when translating a set of sentences designed on purpose. The assignment also makes students aware of the difficulty of constructing such programs while bringing some technological light into the apparent “magic” of machine translation.