The IWSLT 2021 BUT Speech Translation Systems

The paper describes BUT's English to German offline speech translation(ST) systems developed for IWSLT2021. They are based on jointly trained Automatic Speech Recognition-Machine Translation models. Their performances is evaluated on MustC-Common test set. In this work, we study their efficiency from the perspective of having a large amount of separate ASR training data and MT training data, and a smaller amount of speech-translation training data. Large amounts of ASR and MT training data are utilized for pre-training the ASR and MT models. Speech-translation data is used to jointly optimize ASR-MT models by defining an end-to-end differentiable path from speech to translations. For this purpose, we use the internal continuous representations from the ASR-decoder as the input to MT module. We show that speech translation can be further improved by training the ASR-decoder jointly with the MT-module using large amount of text-only MT training data. We also show significant improvements by training an ASR module capable of generating punctuated text, rather than leaving the punctuation task to the MT module.

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