Exploring German Multi-Level Text Simplification

RANLP 2021  ·  Nicolas Spring, Annette Rios, Sarah Ebling ·

We report on experiments in automatic text simplification (ATS) for German with multiple simplification levels along the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), simplifying standard German into levels A1, A2 and B1. For that purpose, we investigate the use of source labels and pretraining on standard German, allowing us to simplify standard language to a specific CEFR level. We show that these approaches are especially effective in low-resource scenarios, where we are able to outperform a standard transformer baseline. Moreover, we introduce copy labels, which we show can help the model make a distinction between sentences that require further modifications and sentences that can be copied as-is.

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