LINGUIST List 2.664

Tue 15 Oct 1991

Disc: Spanish Machine Translation

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. "J.HUTCHINS", MT and Spanish
  2. , Spanish Machine Translation
  3. Enrique Torrejon, Spanish MT
  4. Michel Eytan LILoL, Re: 2.630 Machine Readable Dictionaries & Spanish MT

Message 1: MT and Spanish

Date: Wed, 9 Oct 91 10:13 GMT
From: "J.HUTCHINS" <>
Subject: MT and Spanish
Machine Translation systems involving Spanish as either source
or target language have been numerous.
Many current operational systems include the language; the most
prominent are:
Systran (operating at many installations in North America and in Europe,
the Xerox Corporation has been using it for Spanish for over 10
years), and the SPANAM and ENGSPAN systems at the Pan American
Health Organization in Washington (since late 1970s). Nearly all
the cheaper (mainly micro based systems) offer Spanish, e.g. the
Weidner Corporation (systems now appearing in revised versions
from DP/Translator), the TransActive systems from ALPNET,
Linguistic Products (PC-Translator) and Globalink.
As for experimental projects, the most significant current ones
involving Spanish are:
the Siemens' development of a Spanish component for their
METAL system, the research at Carnegie-Mellon University,
research at Philips (Rosetta system), research at a number of
IBM centres (on the LMT system), and research at New Mexico State
University (the ULTRA project). There have been numerous small-scale
projects which have come and gone. In fact, Spanish has been among
the most popular of all languages for MT research.
As an initial introduction to the substantial MT literature, the
following may help:
General works:
Lehrberger, J. & Bourbeau, L.: Machine translation: linguistic
characteristics of MT systems and general methodology of
evaluation. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 1988.
Nagao, M.: Machine translation: how far can it go? Oxford U.P.,
1989. (A Japanese perspective.)
Hutchins, W.J. & Somers, H.L.: An introduction to machine
translation. London: Academic Press, 1991.
Slocum, J. 'A survey of machine translation: its history,
current status, and future prospects.' Computational Linguistics
11(1), 1985, 1-17.
Hutchins, W.J.: Machine translation: past, present, future.
Chichester (UK): Ellis Horwood. New York: Halstead Press, 1986.
Hutchins, W.J. 'Recent developments in machine translation: a
review of the last five years.' In: Maxwell,D. et al.(eds) New
directions in machine translation. (Dordrecht: Foris, 1988), 7-62.
King, M., ed. Machine translation today: the state of the art.
Edinburgh U.P. , 1987.
Nirenburg, S., ed. Machine translation: theoretical and
methodological issues. Cambridge U.P., 1987.
Slocum, J., ed. Machine translation systems. Cambridge U.P., 1988.
(Also contains Slocum's survey mentioned above.)
Aslib (1979, to date) Translating and the computer. [various
editors]. London: Aslib. (Series of conferences.)
Vasconcellos, M., ed. Technology as translation strategy.
Binghamton, N.Y.: State University of New York., 1988.
The main research journal is:
Machine Translation. Editor: Sergei Nirenburg. Published by
Kluwer (Dordrecht) [Previously entitled: Computers and
I shall be pleased to supply further details to anyone
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Message 2: Spanish Machine Translation

Date: Wed, 9 Oct 91 10:33:29 +0100
From: <>
Subject: Spanish Machine Translation
"l. valentine" <> writes:
> Is anyone aware of any machine translation projects
> either ongoing or completed involving Spanish?
> Can anyone point me to some current literature
> on the subject of machine translation in general,
> or more specifically, projects involving
> French or Spanish?
Many groups relevant for you have unpublished materials, for which you
best write to those people directly. Here are some projects and
Rosetta project: Dutch/English/Spanish in all directions.
Based on Montague UG and containing GB-inspired syntactic
analyses. Standard ref "Isomorphic Grammars ..." (1884) in M. King
(ed) Machine Translation today (Edinburgh Univ. Press 1987) Good
example of the linguistics in this project is J. Odijk (1989) "The
organization of the Rosetta grammars" proceedings European ACL
Manchester. Their address is Philips Research Lab, PO box 80000, 5600
JA Eindhoven.
MiMo-2. Much simpler. Same languages, linguistics HPSG-inspired
(eclectic version of it :-)
Standard ref: van Noord et al "The MiMo2 system" in proceedings
of 3d conference on theoretical and methodological issues in MT,
LRC Austin, 1990. You can contact me for more info.
Perhaps theoretically less interesting but working and actually used
(at the PanAmerican Health Oraganisation): SPANAM and ENGSPAN.
Reference: M. Vasconcellos (1983) "Management of the MT environment"
in proceedings ASLIB conference on translating and the computer,
London. Address: 525 23rd Street N.W. Washington DC 20037.
The best known of all MT systems may well be TAUM-Meteo. This and
various other systems and prototypes involving French were made by the
former TAUM group at Montreal nowadays called CWARC. Contact Pierre
Isabelle (
A unification-based MT system is developed at ISSCO, Geneve,
Switzerland. Languages are French, German, and Italian. Contact these
friendly Swiss via, e.g., Dominique Estival (
or Pierrette Bouillon ( Unsurprisingly, the latter
is working on a system to translate avalanche bulletins.
In Grenoble, Christian Boitet is the head of a project, I am sorry but
I cannot find the address right now.
Systran has several language pairs involving French, their address is
SYSTRAN, PO Box 907, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.
The Metal system (Siemens) involves French and Spanish but I am not
sure in which language combinations. The people to contact here are
Gregor Thurmair at Siemens, Muenchen, Germany, (sorry I do not have a
more detailed address at hand right now), or W. Scott Bennett, Siemens
Nixdorf info systems, LRC, PO Box 7247, Austin, Texas, USA,
Eurotra is a decentralized EC-based project involving 9 European
languages including Spanish and French. In Barcelona there is a center
working on Spanish. Contact Ms. Nuria Bel for info, the email address
I have is The French center is in Paris.
Contact Laurence Danlos, I hypothesize that her email address is
I am sure the above is incomplete, but I hope it will do for a start.
General literature on MT: look at proceedings of the conferences
mentioned above, as well as Coling, ACL. There is a journal called
Louis des Tombe
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Message 3: Spanish MT

Date: Fri, 11 Oct 91 10:53:06 HOE
From: Enrique Torrejon <ENRIQUEEMDCCI11.BITNET>
Subject: Spanish MT
Machine Translation Involving Spanish,
<Is anyone aware of any machine translation projects
<either ongoing or completed involving Spanish?
<Can anyone point me to some current literature
<in the subject of machine translation in general,
<or more specifically, projects involving
<French or Spanish?
There is one project of Machine Translation from English to Spanish
and from Spanish to English being developed at the moment
at the IBM Madrid Scientific Center (Spain, Europe). It is called LMT.
This project belongs to a multilingual one consisting of several
languages (German, French, Danish, Arabic and Hebrew) and it is based on
the Slot Grammar by Michael McCord.
Some references I would recommend you to consult:
McCord, M.C. (1989). "Design of LMT: A Prolog-Based Machine Translation
System", Computational Linguistics 15, pp. 33-52.
McCord, M.C. (1989). "LMT", in Proceedings of the MT Summit II, Munich
McCord, M.C. (1989). "A New Version of the Machine Translation System
LMT", Literary and Linguistic Computing, vol. 15, pp. 218-229
It you want more information about the project, please let me know.
Enrique Torrejon
IBM Madrid Scientific Center
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Message 4: Re: 2.630 Machine Readable Dictionaries & Spanish MT

Date: Thu, 10 Oct 91 15:00:00 GMT
From: Michel Eytan LILoL <>
Subject: Re: 2.630 Machine Readable Dictionaries & Spanish MT
although not specialized in the domain of Machine Translation, I have a student
 who has completed a Master's on translating from French to Italian; next year
 she will follow a doctoral course with me centred on ameliorating her work.
I also know of a commercial firm over here (ie, in France, Germany, Luxemburg)
 that has a product called Systran, part of which can be accessed by the public
 Videotex net called Minitel.
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