Computers and the Humanities

, Volume 25, Issue 2–3, pp 115–128 | Cite as

Recent developments in machine translation

  • Gregor Thurmair


This paper describes developments in the area of machine translation (MT). First, the paper gives an overview of developments in Germany in general; then, special problems are discussed. The system taken as an example is METAL (Machine Translation and Analysis of Natural Language), where recent development work has centered around two main topics. (i) Efforts have been made to make the system really multilingual. The German-to-English prototype had to be expanded, some system components had to be readjusted, and additional problems had to be solved. Currently, analysis and synthesis components for German, English, French, Spanish, and Dutch are under development. All these languages use a common system kernel and a standard interface structure. (ii) The system had to be made user-friendly. This was an even more important task as, up to now, MT systems have not been well accepted by users. METAL tries to be more realistic, and also tries to support the main user interfaces in a much better way than has been done before. This is based on the conviction that there are several parameters which determine the real success of an MT system. It is not just translation quality which is decisive, it is also the integration of an MT system into the whole process of preparing and translating documents.

Key Words

natural language machine translation METAL transfer user interfaces 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregor Thurmair
    • 1
  1. 1.Siemens AGMunich 83Germany

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