Rajat Bhatnagar


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Don’t Rule Out Monolingual Speakers: A Method For Crowdsourcing Machine Translation Data
Rajat Bhatnagar | Ananya Ganesh | Katharina Kann
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)

High-performing machine translation (MT) systems can help overcome language barriers while making it possible for everyone to communicate and use language technologies in the language of their choice. However, such systems require large amounts of parallel sentences for training, and translators can be difficult to find and expensive. Here, we present a data collection strategy for MT which, in contrast, is cheap and simple, as it does not require bilingual speakers. Based on the insight that humans pay specific attention to movements, we use graphics interchange formats (GIFs) as a pivot to collect parallel sentences from monolingual annotators. We use our strategy to collect data in Hindi, Tamil and English. As a baseline, we also collect data using images as a pivot. We perform an intrinsic evaluation by manually evaluating a subset of the sentence pairs and an extrinsic evaluation by finetuning mBART (Liu et al., 2020) on the collected data. We find that sentences collected via GIFs are indeed of higher quality.