Enhancing Document-level Translation of Large Language Model via Translation Mixed-instructions


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Existing large language models (LLMs) for machine translation are typically fine-tuned on sentence-level translation instructions and achieve satisfactory performance at the sentence level. However, when applied to document-level translation, these models face a significant challenge, particularly when dealing with documents containing over 512 tokens. This challenge arises from the issue of sentence-level coverage, where subsequent sentences in the document remain untranslated. As a result, the document-level translation capability of LLMs fine-tuned on sentence-level translation instructions is significantly limited. We conjecture that the primary cause of LLMs' weak document-level translation performance is the absence of document-to-document mapping ability. To address the issue, we propose an approach that combines sentence-level and document-level translation instructions of varying lengths to fine-tune LLMs. Our proposed translation mixed-instructions enable LLMs (Llama-2 7B and 13B) to maintain consistent translation performance from the sentence level to documents containing as many as 2048 tokens. Extensive experimental results show that the proposed approach significantly enhances the document-level translation capabilities of LLMs on 10 language pairs, effectively mitigating the sentence-level coverage issue in document-level translation. Experimentation on discourse phenomena has demonstrated that our document-level translation approach significantly improves translation quality, both in terms of BLEU score and discourse coherence.
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