Is MT translation? Reflections on a recent assault
This essay discusses the claims made by Hofstadter (1997) that machine translation research, as a result of its commercial aims, is based on a 'pure content' view of language, which is unrealistic even for specialized domains. The paper argues that this simplified view of language and translation cannot be blamed solely on industrial research; it is a tenet of basic research MT as well, and one that MT shares with much of AI. The question of whether there is a fundamental difference between narrow domain and general translation is discussed in the light of Melby's (1995) notion of a 'wall' between terms and general vocabulary.
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