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Copyright 2001
Translation Research Group
Send comments to comments@ttt.org
Last updated:
April 12, 2001
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Machine Translation

For the Unconvinced or the Curious

Some of you are probably unconvinced that computers are as limited in their abilities as we have depicted them. Some of you may tend to believe what we have said, but want to examine the argument in more detail and want to know more about how computers can be effectively used as tools by humans on the ninety percent of text for which machine translation is not appropriate. For all of you, we have written a book on this topic. The book is called The Possibility of Language, copyright December 1995 (by Melby and Warner) and it became available in early 1996 as part of a series of books on various aspects of translation from John Benjamins Publishing Company. If you choose to read the book, you will share the results of a particular quest to understand why machine translation is so much more successful on domain-specific sublanguage than on general language. But along the way to an answer, you will read of bumblebees, Babel fish, and spacecraft, and how they and many other real and imagined objects relate to the fascinating ability that humans have to use language to deal face-to-face with each other.

Please let us know about your machine translation adventures in the philosophical world of our book or in the brutal real world.

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