Machine Translation Quality Estimation (QE) is the task of evaluating translation output in the absence of human-written references. Due to the scarcity of human-labeled QE data, previous works attempted to utilize the abundant unlabeled parallel corpora to produce additional training data with pseudo labels. In this paper, we demonstrate a significant gap between parallel data and real QE data: for QE data, it is strictly guaranteed that the source side is original texts and the target side is translated (namely translationese). However, for parallel data, it is indiscriminate and the translationese may occur on either source or target side. We compare the impact of parallel data with different translation directions in QE data augmentation, and find that using the source-original part of parallel corpus consistently outperforms its target-original counterpart. Moreover, since the WMT corpus lacks direction information for each parallel sentence, we train a classifier to distinguish source- and target-original bitext, and carry out an analysis of their difference in both style and domain. Together, these findings suggest using source-original parallel data for QE data augmentation, which brings a relative improvement of up to 4.0% and 6.4% compared to undifferentiated data on sentence- and word-level QE tasks respectively.
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