Computers in Translation: A Practical Appraisal by John Newton

By John Newton

Translators, method designers, process operators and researchers current a entire advisor to computing device translation: its heritage, its successes, its barriers and its strength.

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The main 22 Jeanette Pugh commercial companies which have marketed such products in Europe are Gachot, Logos, ALPNET, Globalink and the London and Tel Aviv-based Tovna. The oldest commercialized system is SYSTRAN, which has been available now for well over a decade. SYSTRAN was originally based in La Jolla (California) but was taken over in 1988 by the French company Gachot. Its main user is the European Commission in Luxembourg to whom the SYSTRAN system was sold under special licence. For general commercial purposes, Gachot sells SYSTRAN output, rather than the system itself, on diskettes, via modem or even over the French public telecommunications system, Minitel (Trabulsi 1989).

Industrial involvement in European MT has led in recent years to a proliferation of MT and MT-related products. The main 22 Jeanette Pugh commercial companies which have marketed such products in Europe are Gachot, Logos, ALPNET, Globalink and the London and Tel Aviv-based Tovna. The oldest commercialized system is SYSTRAN, which has been available now for well over a decade. SYSTRAN was originally based in La Jolla (California) but was taken over in 1988 by the French company Gachot. Its main user is the European Commission in Luxembourg to whom the SYSTRAN system was sold under special licence.

Since 1987, CCL has been involved in a number of other MT projects with British and, notably, Japanese industrial backing. In the UK private sector, there is a certain amount of activity in MT-related R&D. British Telecom Research Laboratories are carrying out their own research on automatic speech translation (Steer and Stentiford 1989). Such industrial involvement in MT in the UK is rare, however, and in general the level of commitment is limited, and is certainly less than is to be found among its continental European counterparts where large companies such as Siemens, Philips and IB M-Europe are all making a significant investment in this area.

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