In the 1980s the dominant framework of MT was essentially ‘rule‐based’, e.g. the linguistics‐based approaches of Ariane, METAL, Eurotra, etc.; or the knowledge‐based approaches at Carnegie Mellon University and elsewhere. New approaches of the 1990s are based on large text corpora, the alignment of bilingual texts, the use of statistical methods and the use of parallel corpora for ‘example‐based’ translation. The problems of building large monolingual and bilingual lexical databases and of generating good quality output have come to the fore. In the past most systems were intended to be general‐purpose; now most are designed for specialized applications, e.g. restricted to controlled languages, to a sublanguage or to a specific domain, to a particular organization or to a particular user‐type. In addition, the field is widening with research under way on speech translation, on systems for monolingual users not knowing target languages, on systems for multilingual generation directly from structured databases, and in general for uses other than those traditionally associated with translation services.
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