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Fine-grained linguistic evaluation for state-of-the-art Machine Translation

Eleftherios Avramidis; Vivien Macketanz; Ursula Strohriegel; Aljoscha Burchardt; Sebastian Möller
In: Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Machine Translation. Conference on Machine Translation (WMT-2020), November 19-20, Online-Conference, Association for Computational Linguistics, 11/2020.


This paper describes a test suite submission providing detailed statistics of linguistic performance for the state-of-the-art German-English systems of the Fifth Conference of Machine Translation (WMT20). The analysis covers 107 phenomena organized in 14 categories based on about 5,500 test items, including a manual annotation effort of 45 person hours. Two systems (Tohoku and Huoshan) appear to have significantly better test suite accuracy than the others, although the best system of WMT20 is not significantly better than the one from WMT19 in a macro-average. Additionally, we identify some linguistic phenomena where all systems suffer (such as idioms, resultative predicates and pluperfect), but we are also able to identify particular weaknesses for individual systems (such as quotation marks, lexical ambiguity and sluicing). Most of the systems of WMT19 which submitted new versions this year show improvements.