article: Language Translation Software: Still in Infancy – but Promises are High

Here is an article from Language Translation:

People translate foreign languages into their own for centuries. However, language translation software was invented only in the 20th century when people started to mechanize a translation process.

As early as 1933, the Russian inventor Petr Smirnov-Troiansky patented “a machine for selecting and printing words in translation from one language to the other.”  March of 1947 is considered to be the birthday of machine translation. At that time, Warren Weaver, a scientist from the Rockefeller Foundation, wrote a letter to the cyberneticist Norbert Wiener and first suggested using computers for translation.

Weaver outlined his ideas in a special memorandum of 1949, which became a stimulus to further research activities. Public authorities and businesses started to give special attention to and invested heavily in this field. In 1954, the first result was demonstrated jointly by Georgetown University and IBM – an IBM computer translated smoothly more than sixty Russian sentences into English. The same year, the first machine translation experiment was run in the Soviet Union.

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