How Google Translate works
Posted in: Miscellaneous at 14/09/2011 18:10
The web giant's translation service might serve up the odd batch of nonsense, but it's still one of the smartest communication tools of all time
Using software originally developed in the 1980s by researchers at IBM, Google has created an automatic translation tool that is unlike all others. It is not based on the intellectual presuppositions of early machine translation efforts - it isn't an algorithm designed only to extract the meaning of an expression from its syntax and vocabulary.
In fact, at bottom, it doesn't deal with meaning at all. Instead of taking a linguistic expression as something that requires decoding, Google Translate (GT) takes it as something that has probably been said before.