Software learns to translate by reading up
Thread poster: Ildiko Santana

Ildiko Santana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:00
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
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Apr 4, 2005

Interesting article in the New Scientist magazine on a learning translation software:

"Translation software that develops an understanding of languages by scanning through thousands of previously translated documents has been released by US researchers.

Most existing translation software uses hand-coded rules for transposing words and phrases. But the new software, developed by Kevin Knight and Daniel Marcu at the Information Sciences Institute, part of the University of Southern California, US, takes a statistical approach, building probabilistic rules about words, phrases and syntactic structures."

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Ken Cox  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:00
German to English
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looks interesting Apr 5, 2005

On the practical side, from the LW website it sounds like you'll need the highest-performance PC you can buy, and they don't say how much it costs (which may put it in the 'if you have to ask, you can't afford it' category).

And then there's always the fundamental issue with machine translation: how much confidence do you have in the result? At least in the beginning, I'd assume you'd want to cross-proofread all the translations against the source texts (and that takes time...).

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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:00
Member (2011)
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statistics-based MT as data-driven MT approach Apr 9, 2005

I've outlined the different types of MT systems (and their corresponding commercial and industrial brands) in my Localization World-Bonn 2004 presentation.
See pages 12-13 of the document(PDF format) that is available through a link in the following post:

Inbound vs Outbound MT systems and software

Language Weaver is listed as one of the few Statistics-based systems that exist.


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Software learns to translate by reading up

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