Technology Issues

Electronic translation aids involving Indian languages are still at an early stage of development. Such tools would include word processors, dictionaries, management tools, term banks, online dictionaries, online and visual thesauri, word-finders, translation memory softwares, e-translators (=machine translation softwares) translation teaching softwares, glossaries, corpora, spell checkers, grammar checkers, electronic dictionaries, technical glossaries, gramatical glossaries, online tools, cultural vocabularies and various look up facilities. All of them, except the machine translation package, support the translator but do not perform the actual translation task.

NTM can facilitate technological advancement in machine translation by assisting in the training and development of human technical resources for some activities and supporting others through collaboration and providing synergy. NTM can come in to help in the following areas is association with bodies like C-DAC and Technology Development for Indian Languages (TDIL) etc.

a. Building up of the necessary infrastructure, especially digital tools like the thesauri, bilingual dictionaries, software for translation memory etc which have immediate application for more efficient and effective translation
b. Creation and maintenance of lexical resources like e-dictionaries, wordnets, language analysis and synthesis tools, concordancers, frequency analysers etc through multi-institute collaboration over a long period: here NTM could provide a common platform for teamwork through continuous interaction by holding meetings, on-line discussions etc.
c. Working out the copyright issues for source texts and translations in clean digital form. NTM can ensure that this wealth of digital material is maintained in a standard format with DTDs.
d. Production and maintenance of high quality parallel corpora with annotations and alignments being generated under LDC-IL project. Such corpora can be treated with machine learning techniques to obtain machine translation systems.
e. Promotion of an interlingua based approach along the lines of the ‘Universal Networking Language’ (UNL) initiated by the United Nations in 1996 involving 15 countries. IIT, Bombay has already developed various tools, techniques and resources for English and Indian language MT which could be generalised.