PreQuEL: Quality Estimation of Machine Translation Outputs in Advance

Shachar Don-Yehiya, Leshem Choshen, Omri Abend

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


We present the task of PreQuEL, Pre-(Quality-Estimation) Learning. A PreQuEL system predicts how well a given sentence will be translated, without recourse to the actual translation, thus eschewing unnecessary resource allocation when translation quality is bound to be low. PreQuEL can be defined relative to a given MT system (e.g., some industry service) or generally relative to the state-of-the-art. From a theoretical perspective, PreQuEL places the focus on the source text, tracing properties, possibly linguistic features, that make a sentence harder to machine translate. We develop a baseline model for the task and analyze its performance. We also develop a data augmentation method (from parallel corpora), that improves results substantially. We show that this augmentation method can improve the performance of the Quality-Estimation task as well. We investigate the properties of the input text that our model is sensitive to, by testing it on challenge sets and different languages. We conclude that it is aware of syntactic and semantic distinctions, and correlates and even over-emphasizes the importance of standard NLP features.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2022
Event2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, EMNLP 2022 - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Duration: 7 Dec 202211 Dec 2022


Conference2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, EMNLP 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited Arab Emirates
CityAbu Dhabi

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Anna Pellivert and Menachem Shefer for helpful discussions. This work was supported in part by the Israel Science Foundation (grant no. 2424/21), and by the Applied Research in Academia Program of the Israel Innovation Authority.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Association for Computational Linguistics.


Dive into the research topics of 'PreQuEL: Quality Estimation of Machine Translation Outputs in Advance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this