Zifan Jiang


Machine Translation between Spoken Languages and Signed Languages Represented in SignWriting
Zifan Jiang | Amit Moryossef | Mathias Müller | Sarah Ebling
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EACL 2023

This paper presents work on novel machine translation (MT) systems between spoken and signed languages, where signed languages are represented in SignWriting, a sign language writing system. Our work seeks to address the lack of out-of-the-box support for signed languages in current MT systems and is based on the SignBank dataset, which contains pairs of spoken language text and SignWriting content. We introduce novel methods to parse, factorize, decode, and evaluate SignWriting, leveraging ideas from neural factored MT. In a bilingual setup—translating from American Sign Language to (American) English—our method achieves over 30 BLEU, while in two multilingual setups—translating in both directions between spoken languages and signed languages—we achieve over 20 BLEU. We find that common MT techniques used to improve spoken language translation similarly affect the performance of sign language translation. These findings validate our use of an intermediate text representation for signed languages to include them in natural language processing research.


Findings of the First WMT Shared Task on Sign Language Translation (WMT-SLT22)
Mathias Müller | Sarah Ebling | Eleftherios Avramidis | Alessia Battisti | Michèle Berger | Richard Bowden | Annelies Braffort | Necati Cihan Camgöz | Cristina España-bonet | Roman Grundkiewicz | Zifan Jiang | Oscar Koller | Amit Moryossef | Regula Perrollaz | Sabine Reinhard | Annette Rios | Dimitar Shterionov | Sandra Sidler-miserez | Katja Tissi
Proceedings of the Seventh Conference on Machine Translation (WMT)

This paper presents the results of the First WMT Shared Task on Sign Language Translation (WMT-SLT22).This shared task is concerned with automatic translation between signed and spoken languages. The task is novel in the sense that it requires processing visual information (such as video frames or human pose estimation) beyond the well-known paradigm of text-to-text machine translation (MT).The task featured two tracks, translating from Swiss German Sign Language (DSGS) to German and vice versa. Seven teams participated in this first edition of the task, all submitting to the DSGS-to-German track.Besides a system ranking and system papers describing state-of-the-art techniques, this shared task makes the following scientific contributions: novel corpora, reproducible baseline systems and new protocols and software for human evaluation. Finally, the task also resulted in the first publicly available set of system outputs and human evaluation scores for sign language translation.