After World War II, the idea of decoding natural languages through
mathematical techniques became a reality. During the 1950's, research on Automatic Translation (known today as Machine Translation , or "MT")
took form in the sense of literal translation, more commonly known as
word-for-word translations, without the use of any linguistic rules.
In 1962, there were 48 working groups deeply involved in the
research and development of MT.
The US National Academy of Sciences published the ALPAC report in 1966. This report stated that MT had a limited future, and then put an end to all US Government research and development projects and
financing for MT.
Peter Toma, Ph.D., a linguist researcher for MT, began his work in 1957 at the California Institute of Technology. Later, Dr. Toma became involved in the pioneering work in Russian to English MT at
Georgetown University, the largest MT project in the US of that time. In 1968, Dr. Toma established a company in La Jolla, California, USA, with a product called SYSTRAN; an acronym for System Translation. Soon thereafter, the company was contracted to develop Russian to English MT for the US Air Force.
The first SYSTRAN system was tested in early 1969 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, USA. Since 1970, the system has continued to provide translations for the US Air Force's Foreign Technology Division.
During the period 1974-1975, SYSTRAN was used by NASA for the joint US-USSR Apollo-Soyouz space project.
In 1975, Dr. Toma demonstrated a prototype of English to French MT to representatives of the Commission of the European Communities (CEC), which resulted in a contract to develop MT systems for various European language pairs. The CEC uses more than 12 SYSTRAN MT systems for the translation of its internal documents.
Xerox Corporation began using SYSTRAN in 1978, the same period during which the SYSTRAN MT systems were transformed
into multitarget (English to several non-English languages). Xerox continues to use the systems for translation of thousands of pages per year. This process allows Xerox to launch multilingual products to the global marketplace.
In 1981, SYSTRAN initiated the development of the Japanese to English and English to Japanese MT systems. Under newly European influence, the first World SYSTRAN Conference, organized by the CEC, was held in Luxembourg, shortly thereafter. This conference, the first dedicated to one single MT system, brought together all the principal SYSTRAN users from around the world.
SYSTRAN introduced the utility "Customer Specific Dictionaries", (referred to as CSDs), in 1989. CSDs are dictionaries created by users with their own specific terminology.
The company developed integrated MT for Xerox in 1990. This new system provided the option to preserve the original document format of a text during the translation process. This option has been incorporated into SYSTRAN products.
In 1992, SYSTRAN began the "C" conversion project, bringing its powerful, patented MT technology to the PC.
In 1995, SYSTRAN PROfessional for Windows in standalone
and client/server versions were launched.
SYSTRAN received a contract from the US National Air Intelligence Center to develop several Eastern European MT language pairs in 1996. This included the first-ever Serbo-Croatian to English MT system, already delivered to the US Government. Also in 1996, SYSTRAN signed a licensing agreement with Seiko Instruments, Inc., through which SYSTRAN would provide linguistic data and software for Seiko's hand-held translation products.
In early 1997, Ford Motor Company acquired multiple custom software
licenses of SYSTRAN's MT software, to be embedded directly into Ford's
systems. Also in 1997, BabelFish, the first-ever online translation
service, powered by SYSTRAN's technology, launches. MT usage reaches new heights.
In 1998, Electronic Arts licenses SYSTRAN's translation
technology for online gaming products.
In 2000, OracleMobile.com, an Oracle Corporation subsidiary,
selects SYSTRAN's translation technology for its wireless portal services.
Autodesk launches the first-ever multilingual online translation of technical
support documentation using a SYSTRAN customized translation solution in 2001.
As the market for MT begins to show traces of maturity in 2002, more and
more corporations realize that the implementation of a customized MT solution
can be a great benefit to the company and help them to remain competitive
in today's multilingual marketplace.
Today, 36 SYSTRAN MT language pairs are commercially available.
Choose a SYSTRAN product below for specific information:
Overview of SYSTRAN Products
- A presentation of SYSTRAN Products
SYSTRAN Standard - For Small to Medium-sized
SYSTRAN Premium - For Medium to Large-sized
SYSTRAN Personal - For Home Use
SYSTRAN Enterprise - Client-Server Solution
for Windows or Linux Networks
SYSTRANLinks - Dynamic Website Translation Solution
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