Should All Cross-Lingual Embeddings Speak English?

Sep 25, 2019 ICLR 2020 Conference Withdrawn Submission readers: everyone
  • TL;DR: The choice of the hub (target) language affects the quality of cross-lingual embeddings, which shouldn't be evaluated only on English-centric dictionaries.
  • Abstract: Most of recent work in cross-lingual word embeddings is severely Anglocentric. The vast majority of lexicon induction evaluation dictionaries are between English and another language, and the English embedding space is selected by default as the hub when learning in a multilingual setting. With this work, however, we challenge these practices. First, we show that the choice of hub language can significantly impact downstream lexicon induction performance. Second, we both expand the current evaluation dictionary collection to include all language pairs using triangulation, and also create new dictionaries for under-represented languages. Evaluating established methods over all these language pairs sheds light into their suitability and presents new challenges for the field. Finally, in our analysis we identify general guidelines for strong cross-lingual embeddings baselines, based on more than just Anglocentric experiments.
  • Keywords: multilingual embeddings, cross-lingual embeddings, under-represented languages
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