The University of Edinburgh participated in the WMT22 shared task on code-mixed translation. This consists of two subtasks: i) generating code-mixed Hindi/English (Hinglish) text generation from parallel Hindi and English sentences and ii) machine translation from Hinglish to English. As both subtasks are considered low-resource, we focused our efforts on careful data generation and curation, especially the use of backtranslation from monolingual resources. For subtask 1 we explored the effects of constrained decoding on English and transliterated subwords in order to produce Hinglish. For subtask 2, we investigated different pretraining techniques, namely comparing simple initialisation from existing machine translation models and aligned augmentation. For both subtasks, we found that our baseline systems worked best. Our systems for both subtasks were one of the overall top-performing submissions.
We present a novel method to extract parallel sentences from two monolingual corpora, using neural machine translation. Our method relies on translating sentences in one corpus, but constraining the decoding by a prefix tree built on the other corpus. We argue that a neural machine translation system by itself can be a sentence similarity scorer and it efficiently approximates pairwise comparison with a modified beam search. When benchmarked on the BUCC shared task, our method achieves results comparable to other submissions.
We report on methods to create the largest publicly available parallel corpora by crawling the web, using open source software. We empirically compare alternative methods and publish benchmark data sets for sentence alignment and sentence pair filtering. We also describe the parallel corpora released and evaluate their quality and their usefulness to create machine translation systems.
The University of Edinburgh participated in the WMT19 Shared Task on News Translation in six language directions: English↔Gujarati, English↔Chinese, German→English, and English→Czech. For all translation directions, we created or used back-translations of monolingual data in the target language as additional synthetic training data. For English↔Gujarati, we also explored semi-supervised MT with cross-lingual language model pre-training, and translation pivoting through Hindi. For translation to and from Chinese, we investigated character-based tokenisation vs. sub-word segmentation of Chinese text. For German→English, we studied the impact of vast amounts of back-translated training data on translation quality, gaining a few additional insights over Edunov et al. (2018). For English→Czech, we compared different preprocessing and tokenisation regimes.