Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Translation: Statistics Not Linguistics

I came across this interesting article in the Washington Post describing how Google Translate and Yahoo! BabelFish have improved their machine translations by using statistical instead of linguistic models. That is, with the massive abilities of computers today, better translations can be obtained by having them statistically analyze passages in two languages and generate translations on that basis rather than trying to linguistically analyze words and phrases. It does make sense given the idiomatic nature of so much of speech, but they are wise to go back now and try to provide some linguistic enhancement to their translations. 
Give it a try using Hebrew or Greek (but remember that it is modern and not ancient).
Google Translate

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