Why Machine Translation?
Today technology has made it possible for individuals worldwide to access large volumes of information at the click of a button. However, very often the information sought may not be in a language that the individual is familiar with.
Thus, Machine Translation is an endeavor to minimize the language barrier, by making it possible to access a text in the language of one's choice.
For technology to be able to provide the above facility, many aspects of language are involved.
To name a few:
Keeping the above in mind, Machine translation systems need to be equipped to translate a text within seconds and yet capture the information of the text to the best possible extent.
Brief History of Machine Translation:
Machine Translation (MT) is not a new development. Given below are examples of some MT systems, along with their strengths and weaknesses:
•Very limited domain (translates weather bulletins from English to French)
•Practically being used by many IT firms such as Altavista, etc.
•Translation is unreliable (leading to misinterpretations)
MT efforts in India, at a glance
•Mantra system designed by C-DAC and used for translation of Government appointment letters. This uses the 'Tree Adjoining Grammar' approach.
•A system designed by ERDCI & IIT – Kanpur, for translating Public Health campaign documents. It uses the Angla Bharati approach.
•Matra - a human-aided MT tool, designed by NCST, (now known as C-DAC)
GENERAL PURPOSE MT
•Angla Bharati approach (IIT-Kanpur)
•UNL based MT (IIT-Mumbai)
•Shiva: EBMT (IIIT-Hyderabad/IISc-Bangalore)
•Shakti: English-Hindi MT System (IIIT-Hyderabad)