Since the early 1950s, human beings have being trying to use machines to translate languages. While these efforts have advanced in recent years, they are no substitute for a human foreign language translator.
One of the earliest attempts was a partnership between Georgetown University and IBM. The researchers tried to develop a language translation program with early generation computers. The system used basic algorithm to make decisions. It had 250 words and six grammar rules and attempted to translate Russian to English.
Despite the early success, computers did not solve many of the subtle problems with language translation. While programmers can easily install the rules of grammar and meaning of words into a computer, they have a hard teaching a computer to understand cultural contexts and idioms. Continue reading →