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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Media: NYT Article on Machine Translation

Submitter: Karen Chung

Submitter Email: karchung@ntu.edu.tw
Media Body: Editor's note: Thanks to Elizabeth Pyatt, who also sent notice of
this article.

There's a piece in the July 31, 2003 online edition of the New York
Times entitled:

From Uzbek to Klingon, the Machine Cracks the Code
by Christopher John Farah

A sample paragraph:

Traditional machine translation relies on painstaking efforts by
bilingual programmers to enter the vast wealth of information on
vocabulary and syntax that the computer needs to translate one
language into another. But in the early 1990's, a team of researchers
at I.B.M. devised another way to do things: feeding a computer an
English text and its translation in a different language. The computer
then uses statistical analysis to "learn" the second language.

The URL:


Karen Steffen Chung


Issue Number: 14.2063
Date Posted: August 01, 2003

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