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Re: [WMASTERS] Machine Tranlsation Project from English to Tamil


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> Date: Tue, 30 Sep 1997 10:48:27 +0800
> From: "v.Lakshmi" <v_lakshmi@geocities.com>
> Reply-To: v_lakshmi@geocities.com
> To: kalyanasundaram@epfl.ch
> Hello,
>         I attended the Tamil Net '97. I am a Software Engineer working for the
> Institute of Systems Sciences, National University of Singapore.
> I am planning to do a Machine Tranlsation Project from English to Tamil.
> Do you know of anyone who has done or attempted this before?
> Thanks,
> Looking forward for your reply,
> V.Lakshmi

I am somewhat aware of the translating projects between English and
French. There is a "French Assistant Deluxe" a $70 CD ROM software.
Examples look great. I passed a few of my texts. Produces highly
amusing clumsy translations. I am also told that there have
been multi-million dollar projects for translation between
English and French. In short, no software can still beat an
ordinary 10-th grade bilingual student today. By the time we
have good translators, we might also good "idea to text"
converters within the same language itself.

Meanwhile the following things seem to be getting quite good
for English. Similar things for Tamil is realizable with today's
- Grammer checker
- Dictionary as an aid while writing/translating.
- Thesaurus (dictionary of Synonymes and antonymes)
- Similar words, rhymes, similar sounding words (for composing poems)

My personal opinion is that English-Tamil machine
translations will never be able to even approach the
level of atleast 10 million people, who can do a better job.

Auto translations among the south indian languages might
be realizable using dictionaries and word to word approach.
For others, one has to go English->Idea->Tamil etc.
Not an easy task.

K. Srinivasan of Quebec.


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