On the Transferability of Massively Multilingual Pretrained Models in the Pretext of the Indo-Aryan and Tibeto-Burman Languages

In recent times, machine translation models can learn to perform implicit bridging between language pairs never seen explicitly during training and showing that transfer learning helps for languages with constrained resources. This work investigates the low resource machine translation via transfer learning from multilingual pre-trained models i.e. mBART-50 and mT5-base in the pretext of Indo-Aryan (Assamese and Bengali) and Tibeto-Burman (Manipuri) languages via finetuning as a downstream task. Assamese and Manipuri were absent in the pretraining of both mBART-50 and the mT5 models. However, the experimental results attest that the finetuning from these pre-trained models surpasses the multilingual model trained from scratch.

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