The MeMAD Submission to the IWSLT 2018 Speech Translation Task

Umut Sulubacak, Jörg Tiedemann, Aku Rouhe, Grönroos Stig-Arne, Mikko Kurimo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionProfessional


This paper describes the MeMAD project entry to the IWSLT Speech Translation Shared Task, addressing the translation of English audio into German text. Between the pipeline and end-to-end model tracks, we participated only in the former, with three contrastive systems. We tried also the latter, but were not able to finish our end-to-end model in time.

All of our systems start by transcribing the audio into text through an automatic speech recognition model trained on the TED-LIUM English Speech Recognition Corpus. Afterwards, we feed the transcripts into English-German text-based neural machine translation (NMT) models. Our systems employ three different translation models trained on separate training sets compiled from the English-German part of the TED Speech Translation Corpus and the OpenSubtitles2018 section of the OPUS collection.

In this paper, we also describe the experiments leading up to our final systems. Our experiments indicate that using OpenSubtitles2018 in training significantly improves translation performance. We also experimented with various pre- and postprocessing routines for the NMT module, but we did not have much success with these.

Our best-scoring system attains a BLEU score of 16.45 on the test set for this year’s task.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 15th International Workshop on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2018)
EditorsMarco Turchi, Jan Niehues, Marcello Frederico
Number of pages6
Place of PublicationBruges
Publication date30 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2018
MoE publication typeD3 Professional conference proceedings
EventInternational Workshop on Spoken Language Translation - Brugge, Belgium
Duration: 29 Oct 201830 Oct 2018
Conference number: 15

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  • 113 Computer and information sciences
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