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Friday, May 22, 2015

Industry Focus

Quality Swahili machine translation

Arvi Hurskainen

The survey of current MT systems reveals that except for Swahili, none of the truly African languages is found in the lists of language pairs. This is due to several factors. One is that the market for MT applications for African languages is considered marginal. Another reason may be the large number of languages in many African countries; the selection of some languages for development may cause political schisms. The scarcity of skilled researchers who master these languages may also contribute to the state of affairs.

However, the more fundamental reason may be that statistical translation systems do not give satisfactory results. Statistical methods require large corpus materials of parallel text and huge dictionaries in constructing translation systems. Another major obstacle is the big structural difference between source language (SL) and target language (TL). The examples above show that the translation of even very simple sentences fails. . .

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Above excerpt taken from the October/November 2012 issue of MultiLingual published by MultiLingual Computing, Inc., 319 North First Avenue, Suite 2, Sandpoint, Idaho 83864-1495 USA, 208-263-8178, Fax: 208-263-6310. Subscribe

October/November, 2012