The recent report for the Commission of the European Communities on current multilingual activities in the field of scientific and technical information and the 1977 conference on the same theme both included substantial sections on operational and experimental machine translation systems, and in its Plan of action the Commission announced its intention to introduce an operational machine translation system into its departments and to support research projects on machine translation. This revival of interest in machine translation may well have surprised many who have tended in recent years to dismiss it as one of the ‘great failures’ of scientific research. What has changed? What grounds are there now for optimism about machine translation? Or is it still a ‘utopian dream’ ? The aim of this review is to give a general picture of present activities which may help readers to reach their own conclusions. After a sketch of the historical background and general aims (section I), it describes operational and experimental machine translation systems of recent years (section II), it continues with descriptions of interactive (man‐machine) systems and machine‐assisted translation (section III), (and it concludes with a general survey of present problems and future possibilities section IV).
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