Jonas Waldendorf


Improving Translation of Out Of Vocabulary Words using Bilingual Lexicon Induction in Low-Resource Machine Translation
Jonas Waldendorf | Alexandra Birch | Barry Hadow | Antonio Valerio Micele Barone
Proceedings of the 15th biennial conference of the Association for Machine Translation in the Americas (Volume 1: Research Track)

Dictionary-based data augmentation techniques have been used in the field of domain adaptation to learn words that do not appear in the parallel training data of a machine translation model. These techniques strive to learn correct translations of these words by generating a synthetic corpus from in-domain monolingual data utilising a dictionary obtained from bilingual lexicon induction. This paper applies these techniques to low resource machine translation, where there is often a shift in distribution of content between the parallel data and any monolingual data. English-Pashto machine learning systems are trained using a novel approach that introduces monolingual data to existing joint learning techniques for bilingual word embeddings, combined with word-for-word back-translation to improve the translation of words that do not or rarely appear in the parallel training data. Improvements are made both in terms of BLEU, chrF and word translation accuracy for an En->Ps model, compared to a baseline and when combined with back-translation.


Surprise Language Challenge: Developing a Neural Machine Translation System between Pashto and English in Two Months
Alexandra Birch | Barry Haddow | Antonio Valerio Miceli Barone | Jindrich Helcl | Jonas Waldendorf | Felipe Sánchez Martínez | Mikel Forcada | Víctor Sánchez Cartagena | Juan Antonio Pérez-Ortiz | Miquel Esplà-Gomis | Wilker Aziz | Lina Murady | Sevi Sariisik | Peggy van der Kreeft | Kay Macquarrie
Proceedings of Machine Translation Summit XVIII: Research Track

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 University of Edinburgh’s English-German and English-Hausa Submissions to the WMT21 News Translation Task
Pinzhen Chen | Jindřich Helcl | Ulrich Germann | Laurie Burchell | Nikolay Bogoychev | Antonio Valerio Miceli Barone | Jonas Waldendorf | Alexandra Birch | Kenneth Heafield
Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Machine Translation

This paper presents the University of Edinburgh’s constrained submissions of English-German and English-Hausa systems to the WMT 2021 shared task on news translation. We build En-De systems in three stages: corpus filtering, back-translation, and fine-tuning. For En-Ha we use an iterative back-translation approach on top of pre-trained En-De models and investigate vocabulary embedding mapping.