Context-aware Neural Machine Translation for English-Japanese Business Scene Dialogues.


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Despite the remarkable advancements in machine translation, the current sentence-level paradigm faces challenges when dealing with highly-contextual languages like Japanese. In this paper, we explore how context-awareness can improve the performance of the current Neural Machine Translation (NMT) models for English-Japanese business dialogues translation, and what kind of context provides meaningful information to improve translation. As business dialogue involves complex discourse phenomena but offers scarce training resources, we adapted a pretrained mBART model, finetuning on multi-sentence dialogue data, which allows us to experiment with different contexts. We investigate the impact of larger context sizes and propose novel context tokens encoding extra-sentential information, such as speaker turn and scene type. We make use of Conditional Cross-Mutual Information (CXMI) to explore how much of the context the model uses and generalise CXMI to study the impact of the extra-sentential context. Overall, we find that models leverage both preceding sentences and extra-sentential context (with CXMI increasing with context size) and we provide a more focused analysis on honorifics translation. Regarding translation quality, increased source-side context paired with scene and speaker information improves the model performance compared to previous work and our context-agnostic baselines, measured in BLEU and COMET metrics.
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