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Machine Translation tools

Ok, so I am not exactly a fan of machine translation tools, probably because that's a cheap alternative to my high translator skills, machine translation is usually lousy and on top of that is still no match for a skilled translator. (Yes, I know that I'm biased).

I recall that Iwas asked in the middle of the 80's to evaluate the "goodness" of a machine translation tool (Systran, at that time still running on a mainframe, for God's sake) that would revolutionize my work (heh!). Believe me, I was *very* skeptic. I managed to beat the beast in both time and quality - and I was still much cheaper than running that expensive program on a mainframe. And believe me, since the 80's things have not improved so much that I see my career at risk because of a machine. Machine translation tools have their place, but I do not see them as a threat to the profession in the next twenty years.

Still, sometimes even a bad machine translation can help you when you're stuck (the machine might get lucky, and show you exactly the subtlety you were looking for). So here are are a couple of links with machine translation software that might help you out.

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Free on-line machine translation


List of Machine translation tools from the Asia-Pacific Association for MT


See also my Disclaimer.

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