The field of Computational Linguistics is relatively new; however, it contains several sub-areas reflecting practical applications in the field. Machine (or Automatic) Translation (MT) is one of the main components of Computational Linguistics (CL). It can be considered as an independent subject because people who work in this domain are not necessarily experts in the other domains of CL. However, what connects them is the fact that all of these subjects use computers as a tool to deal with human language. Therefore, some people call it Natural Language Processing (NLP). This paper tries to highlight MT as an essential sub-area of CL. The types and approaches of MT will be considered, and limitations discussed.
Linguistics and Computer Science are the main components of CL. According to Bolshakov & Gelbukh (2004) CL can be defined as a synonym of NLP. CL aims to construct computer programs which are able to process (recognize and synthesize) texts and speech of natural languages. This process enables scientists to create several applications related to this field such as Machine Translation, Spell and Grammar Checkers, Information Retrieval, Speech Recognition and Speech Synthesis, Topical Summarization, Extraction of factual data from texts, Natural language interface.
A Brief History of Machine Translation
There is no doubt that scientists have paid attention to MT as one of the main computational-linguistics domains. Slocum (1984) states that the development of MT programmes started in the 1950s. The first applications such as Systran and Meteo were able to translate from one language to another word by word. The research in machine translation has developed significantly in...
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... Computers in Translation: A Practical Approach, Routledge, London, pp.96-130
Hutchins, J. (1993). "Latest Developments in Machine Translation Technology: Beginning a New Era in MT Research", MT Summit IV: International Cooperation for Global Communication. Proceedings, Kobe, Japan, pp. 11-34.
Jurafsky, D. & Martin, J. H. (2009), Speech and Language Processing: International Version: an Introduction to Natural Language Processing, Computational Linguistics, and Speech Recognition, 2nd ed, Pearson Education Inc, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
Rao, D.D. (1998), "Machine Translation A Gentle Introduction", Resonance: journal of science education, vol. 3, no. 7, pp. 61-70.
Slocum, J. (1984). "Machine Translation: its History, Current Status and Future Prospects ", Siemens Communications Systems, Inc., Linguistics Research Center, University of Texas, Austin, Texas.
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