Proceedings of the 11th Conference of the Association for Machine Translation in the Americas

Sharon O'Brien, Michel Simard, Lucia Specia (Editors)

Anthology ID:
October 22-26
Vancouver, Canada
Association for Machine Translation in the Americas
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MT post-editing into the mother tongue of into a foreign language? Spanish-to-English MT translation output post-edited by translation trainees
Pilar Sánchez-Gijón | Olga Torres-Hostench

The aim of this study is to analyse whether translation trainees who are not native speakers of the target language are able to perform as well as those who are native speakers, and whether they achieve the expected quality in a “good enough” post-editing (PE) job. In particular the study focuses on the performance of two groups of students doing PE from Spanish into English: native English speakers and native Spanish speakers. A pilot study was set up to collect evidence to compare and contrast the two groups’ performances. Trainees from both groups had been given the same training in PE and were asked to post-edit 30 sentences translated from Spanish to English. The PE output was analyzed taking into account accuracy errors (mistranslations and omissions) as well as language errors (grammatical errors and syntax errors). The results show that some native Spanish speakers corrected just as many errors as the native English speakers. Furthermore, the Spanish-speaking trainees outperformed their English-speaking counterparts when identifying mistranslations and omissions. Moreover, the performances of the best English-speaking and Spanish-speaking trainees at identifying grammar and syntax errors were very similar.

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Comparison of post-editing productivity between professional translators and lay users
Nora Aranberri | Gorka Labaka | Arantza Diaz de Ilarraza | Kepa Sarasola

This work compares the post-editing productivity of professional translators and lay users. We integrate an English to Basque MT system within Bologna Translation Service, an end-to-end translation management platform, and perform a producitivity experiment in a real working environment. Six translators and six lay users translate or post-edit two texts from English into Basque. Results suggest that overall, post-editing increases translation throughput for both translators and users, although the latter seem to benefit more from the MT output. We observe that translators and users perceive MT differently. Additionally, a preliminary analysis seems to suggest that familiarity with the domain, source text complexity and MT quality might affect potential productivity gain.

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Monolingual post-editing by a domain expert is highly effective for translation triage
Lane Schwartz

Various small-scale pilot studies have found that for at least some documents, monolingual target language speakers may be able to successfully post-edit machine translations. We begin by analyzing previously published post-editing data to ascertain the effect, if any, of original source language on post-editing quality. Schwartz et al. (2014) hypothesized that post-editing success may be more pronounced when the monolingual post-editors are experts in the domain of the translated documents. This work tests that hypothesis by asking a domain expert to post-edit machine translations of a French scientific article (Besacier, 2014) into English. We find that the monolingual domain expert post-editor was able to successfully post-edit 86.7% of the sentences without requesting assistance from a bilingual post-editor. We evaluate the post-edited sentences according to a bilingual adequacy metric, and find that 96.5% of those sentences post-edited by only a monolingual post-editor are judged to be completely correct. These results confirm that a monolingual domain expert can successfully triage the post-editing effort, substantially reducing the workload on the bilingual post-editor by only sending the most challenging sentences to the bilingual post-editor.

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Perceived vs. measured performance in the post-editing of suggestions from machine translation and translation memories
Carlos S.C. Teixeira

This paper investigates the behaviour of ten professional translators when performing translation tasks with and without translation suggestions, and with and without translation metadata. The measured performances are then compared with the translators’ perceptions of their performances. The variables that are taken into consideration are time, edits and errors. Keystroke logging and screen recording are used to measure time and edits, an error score system is used to identify errors and post-performance interviews are used to assess participants’ perceptions. The study looks at the correlations between the translators’ perceptions and their actual performances, and tries to understand the reasons behind any discrepancies. Translators are found to prefer an environment with translation suggestions and translation metadata to an environment without metadata. This preference, however, does not always correlate with an improved performance. Task familiarity seems to be the most prominent factor responsible for the positive perceptions, rather than any intrinsic characteristics in the tasks. A certain prejudice against MT is also present in some of the comments.

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Perception vs. reality: measuring machine translation post-editing productivity
Federico Gaspari | Antonio Toral | Sudip Kumar Naskar | Declan Groves | Andy Way

This paper presents a study of user-perceived vs real machine translation (MT) post-editing effort and productivity gains, focusing on two bidirectional language pairs: English—German and English—Dutch. Twenty experienced media professionals post-edited statistical MT output and also manually translated comparative texts within a production environment. The paper compares the actual post-editing time against the users’ perception of the effort and time required to post-edit the MT output to achieve publishable quality, thus measuring real (vs perceived) productivity gains. Although for all the language pairs users perceived MT post-editing to be slower, in fact it proved to be a faster option than manual translation for two translation directions out of four, i.e. for Dutch to English, and (marginally) for English to German. For further objective scrutiny, the paper also checks the correlation of three state-of-the-art automatic MT evaluation metrics (BLEU, METEOR and TER) with the actual post-editing time.

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Cognitive demand and cognitive effort in post-editing
Isabel Lacruz | Michael Denkowski | Alon Lavie

The pause to word ratio, the number of pauses per word in a post-edited MT segment, is an indicator of cognitive effort in post-editing (Lacruz and Shreve, 2014). We investigate how low the pause threshold can reasonably be taken, and we propose that 300 ms is a good choice, as pioneered by Schilperoord (1996). We then seek to identify a good measure of the cognitive demand imposed by MT output on the post-editor, as opposed to the cognitive effort actually exerted by the post-editor during post-editing. Measuring cognitive demand is closely related to measuring MT utility, the MT quality as perceived by the post-editor. HTER, an extrinsic edit to word ratio that does not necessarily correspond to actual edits per word performed by the post-editor, is a well-established measure of MT quality, but it does not comprehensively capture cognitive demand (Koponen, 2012). We investigate intrinsic measures of MT quality, and so of cognitive demand, through edited-error to word metrics. We find that the transfer-error to word ratio predicts cognitive effort better than mechanical-error to word ratio (Koby and Champe, 2013). We identify specific categories of cognitively challenging MT errors whose error to word ratios correlate well with cognitive effort.

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Vocabulary accuracy of statistical machine translation in the legal context
Jeffrey Killman

This paper examines the accuracy of free online SMT output provided by Google Translate (GT) in the difficult context of legal translation. The paper analyzes English machine translations produced by GT for a large sample of Spanish legal vocabulary items that originate from a voluminous text of judgment summaries produced by the Supreme Court of Spain. Prior to this study, this same text was translated into English but without MT and it was found that the majority of the translation solutions that were chosen for the said vocabulary items could be hand-selected from mostly EU databases with versions in English and Spanish. The paper argues that MT in the legal translation context should be worthwhile if the output can consistently provide a reasonable amount of accurate translations of the types of vocabulary items translators in this context often have to do research on before being able to effectively translate them. Much of the currently available translated text used to train SMT comes from international organizations, such as the EU and the UN which often write about legal matters. Moreover, SMT can use the immediate co-text of vocabulary items as a way of attempting to identify correct translations in its database.

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Towards desktop-based CAT tool instrumentation
John Moran | Christian Saam | Dave Lewis

Though a number of web-based CAT tools have emerged over recent years, to date the most common form of CAT tool used by translators remains the desktop-based CAT tool. However, currently none of the most commonly used desktop-based CAT tools provide a means of measuring translation speed at a segment level. This metric is important, as previous work on MT productivity testing has shown that edit distance can be a misleading measure of MT post-editing effort. In this paper we present iOmegaT, an instrumented version of a popular desktop-based open-source CAT tool called OmegaT. We survey a number of similar applications and outline some of the weaknesses of web-based CAT tools for experi- enced professional translators. On the basis of a two productivity test carried out using iOmegaT we show why it is important to be able to identify fast good post-editors to maximize MT utility and how this is problematic using only edit-distance measures. Finally, we argue how and why instrumentation could be added to more commonly used desktop-based CAT tools that are paid for by freelance translators if their privacy is respected.

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Translation quality in post-edited versus human-translated segments: a case study
Elaine O’Curran

We analyze the linguistic quality results for a post-editing productivity test that contains a 3:1 ratio of post-edited segments versus human-translated segments, in order to assess if there is a difference in the final translation quality of each segment type and also to investigate the type of errors that are found in each segment type. Overall, we find that the human-translated segments contain more errors per word than the post-edited segments and although the error categories logged are similar across the two segment types, the most notable difference is that the number of stylistic errors in the human translations is 3 times higher than in the post-edited translations.

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TAUS post-editing course
Attila Görög

While there is a massive adoption of MT post-editing as a new service in the global translation industry, a common reference to skills and best practices to do this work well has been missing. TAUS took up the challenge to provide a course that would integrate with the DQF tools and the post-editing best practices developed by TAUS members in the previous years and offers both theory and practice to develop post-editing skills. The contribution of language service providers who are involved in MT and post-editing on a daily basis allowed TAUS to deliver fast on this industry need. This online course addresses the challenges for linguists and translators deciding to work on post-editing assignments and is aimed at those who want to learn the best practices and skills to become more efficient and proficient in the activity of post-editing.

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TAUS post-editing productivity tool
Attila Görög

While there is a massive adoption of MT post-editing as a new service in the global translation industry, a common reference to skills and best practices to do this work well has been missing. TAUS took up the challenge to provide a course that would integrate with the DQF tools and the post-editing best practices developed by TAUS members in the previous years and offers both theory and practice to develop post-editing skills. The contribution of language service providers who are involved in MT and post-editing on a daily basis allowed TAUS to deliver fast on this industry need. This online course addresses the challenges for linguists and translators deciding to work on post-editing assignments and is aimed at those who want to learn the best practices and skills to become more efficient and proficient in the activity of post-editing.

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QuEst: A framework for translation quality estimation
Lucia Specia | Kashif Shah

We present QUEST, an open source framework for translation quality estimation. QUEST provides a wide range of feature extractors from source and translation texts and external resources and tools. These go from simple, language-independent features, to advanced, linguistically motivated features. They include features that rely on information from the translation system and features that are oblivious to the way translations were produced. In addition, it provides wrappers for a well-known machine learning toolkit, scikit-learn, including techniques for feature selection and model building, as well as parameter optimisation. We also present a Web interface and functionalities for non-expert users. Using this interface, quality predictions (or internal features of the framework) can be obtained without the installation of the toolkit and the building of prediction models. The interface also provides a ranking method for multiple translations given for the same source text according to their predicted quality.

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An open source desktop post-editing tool
Lane Schwartz

We present a simple user interface for post-editing that presents the user with the source sentence, machine translation, and word alignments for each sentence in a test document (Figure 1). This software is open source, written in Java, and has no external dependencies; it can be run on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. This software was originally designed for monolingual post-editors, but should be equally usable by bilingual post-editors. While it may seem counter-intuitive to present monolingual post-editors with the source sentence, we found that the presence of alignment links between source words and target words can in fact aid a monolingual post-editor, especially with regard to correcting word order. For example, in our experiments using this interface (Schwartz et al., 2014), post-editors encountered some sentences where a word or phrase was enclosed within bracketing punctuation marks (such as quotation marks, commas, or parentheses) in the source sentence, and the machine translation system incorrectly reordered the word or phrase outside the enclosing punctuation; by examining the alignment links the post-editors were able to correct such reordering mistakes.

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Real time adaptive machine translation: cdec and TransCenter
Michael Denkowski | Alon Lavie | Isabel Lacruz | Chris Dyer

cdec Realtime and TransCenter provide an end-to-end experimental setup for machine translation post-editing research. Realtime provides a framework for building adaptive MT systems that learn from post-editor feedback while TransCenter incorporates a web-based translation interface that connects users to these systems and logs post-editing activity. This combination allows the straightforward deployment of MT systems specifically for post-editing and analysis of translator productivity when working with adaptive systems. Both toolkits are freely available under open source licenses.

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Post-editing user interface using visualization of a sentence structure
Yudai Kishimoto | Toshiaki Nakazawa | Daisuke Kawahara | Sadao Kurohashi

Translation has become increasingly important by virtue of globalization. To reduce the cost of translation, it is necessary to use machine translation and further to take advantage of post-editing based on the result of a machine translation for accurate information dissemination. Such post-editing (e.g., PET [Aziz et al., 2012]) can be used practically for translation between European languages, which has a high performance in statistical machine translation. However, due to the low accuracy of machine translation between languages with different word order, such as Japanese-English and Japanese-Chinese, post-editing has not been used actively.

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Kanjingo: a mobile app for post-editing
Sharon O’Brien | Joss Moorkens | Joris Vreeke

We present Kanjingo, a mobile app for post-editing currently running under iOS. The App was developed using an agile methodoly at CNGL, DCU. Though it could be used for numerous scenarios, our test scenario involved the post-editing of machine translated sample content for the non-profit translation organization Translators without Borders. Feedback from a first round of user testing for English-French and English-Spanish was positive, but users also identified a number of usability issues that required improvement. These issues were addressed in a second development round and a second usability evaluation was carried out in collaboration with another non-profit translation organization, The Rosetta Foundation, again with French and Spanish as target languages.