What is Statistical Machine Translation?


Over the past few years, a transformation has taken place in machine translation tools as rule-based translation systems have given way to statistical language analysis techniques that use known translations (e.g., United Nations archives and other open content) to derive nuances and meanings not easily addressed by rule-based systems. Tools like Google Translate have used statistical methods to move machine translation to the point where it is now a viable, low-cost, and easy option for automated, rapid translation on web content. While the translation tools are not yet perfect, they are fairly accurate in most cases, and are well-suited for credible on-the-fly translations.The ability to embed translation tools quickly and easily into websites such that the viewer may choose a preferred language removes the need to prepare individual copies of online material in different languages. This simplifies upkeep and maintenance as well as making it easier to deploy new content quickly. Statistical machine translation is an increasingly robust and low-cost option that has developed to the point where it is a viable and easy solution for institutions looking to make general information easily available in multiple languages.

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1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • More and more translation services appear that are constantly being improved, so the burden of living in multi-culture could ease off on the long run. Those wishing to learn could access information and use services for deciphering, even though some efforts are needed in this area. Teachers can also find additional materials for their classes, that previously were less relevant to them. - tszmarta tszmarta Nov 3, 2013
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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on European schools education?

  • Language issues pause a great burden to direct communication for European schools, where in many countries teachers and students speak mainly their mother tongue fluently. Thus automated translation services are of great help, of which schools are aware of and use frequently. It does not qualify for a human translation, but converts text to an understandable level, providing access to crucial information and cross-cultural communication possibilities. - tszmarta tszmarta Nov 3, 2013
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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?


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