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While we have come a long way toward make automated translation easier, faster and more reliable, a world of seamless and immediate translation is still out of our grasp. Der Spiegel spoke with the German computer scientist chasing Google’s translation dreams, Franz Josef Och, about the challenges of translating between Google’s 71 supported languages. Surprisingly, a lot of it has to do with probability: Algorithms translate a phrase by computing the possible translations, then narrowing it down based on how a native speaker would order the words.

Story posted at: spiegel.de

  1. I remember having a translator years ago and haven’t had one since. All it did was translate the document word for word. Go figure! If I had wanted a transliteration, I could have done it myself without too much ado. So I gave up. Anyway, it’s nice to see that things have moved on. I may just try it again. ;)

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