In this paper, we test whether natural language inference (NLI) models which perform well in zero- and few-shot settings can benefit hate speech detection performance in scenarios where only a limited amount of labeled data is available in the target language. Our evaluation on five languages demonstrates large performance improvements of NLI fine-tuning over direct fine-tuning in the target language. However, the effectiveness of previous work that proposed intermediate fine-tuning on English data is hard to match. Only in settings where the English training data does not match the test domain, can our customised NLI-formulation outperform intermediate fine-tuning on English. Based on our extensive experiments, we propose a set of recommendations for hate speech detection in languages where minimal labeled training data is available.

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