The Collaborative International Dictionary
machine translation \machine translation\ n. (Computers) The translation of human language from one language to another by a computer; -- a branch of artificial intelligence.
Syn: computer translation, automatic translation.
n. 1 (context translation studies English) The act of translate something by means of a machine, especially a computer. 2 (context translation studies English) The act of translating a computer language into a form more directly usable by the computer.
n. the use of computers to translate from one language to another [syn: MT]
Machine translation, sometimes referred to by the abbreviation MT (not to be confused with computer-aided translation, machine-aided human translation (MAHT) or interactive translation) is a sub-field of computational linguistics that investigates the use of software to translate text or speech from one language to another.
On a basic level, MT performs simple substitution of words in one language for words in another, but that alone usually cannot produce a good translation of a text because recognition of whole phrases and their closest counterparts in the target language is needed. Solving this problem with corpus and statistical techniques is a rapidly growing field that is leading to better translations, handling differences in linguistic typology, translation of idioms, and the isolation of anomalies.
Current machine translation software often allows for customization by domain or profession (such as weather reports), improving output by limiting the scope of allowable substitutions. This technique is particularly effective in domains where formal or formulaic language is used. It follows that machine translation of government and legal documents more readily produces usable output than conversation or less standardised text.
Improved output quality can also be achieved by human intervention: for example, some systems are able to translate more accurately if the user has unambiguously identified which words in the text are proper names. With the assistance of these techniques, MT has proven useful as a tool to assist human translators and, in a very limited number of cases, can even produce output that can be used as is (e.g., weather reports).
The progress and potential of machine translation have been debated much through its history. Since the 1950s, a number of scholars have questioned the possibility of achieving fully automatic machine translation of high quality. Some critics claim that there are in-principle obstacles to automating the translation process.
Usage examples of "machine translation".
One solution, which NSA for decades has been trying to perfect, is machine translation.
The language is awkward, showing all the hallmarks of a crude machine translation: The supplicant is American, a woman, and –.
Sometimes he would amend the machine translation, and other times he let it proceed unchanged.
The Japanese footage sites, resisting machine translation, are an area that fascinates Parkaboy.
A classic and probably apocryphal illustration is in the field of machine translation of human languages: a language-say, English-is input and the text is output in another language-say, Chinese.
But then again, that was the way the game was played, and machine translation was not nuanced enough for these purposes.