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Google translate instantly translates between any pair of over eighty human languages like French and English. How does it do that? Why does it make the errors that it does? And how can you build something better? Modern translation systems like Google Translate, Bing Translator, and SDL FreeTranslation learn to translate by reading millions of words of already translated text. This course will show you how they work. We cover fundamental building blocks from linguistics, machine learning, algorithms, data structures, and formal language theory, showing how they apply to a difficult real-word artificial intelligence problem.

Adam Lopez and Matt Post
Course Assistant
Yuan Cao
Discussion Forum
Time and place
TuTh 1:30-2:45, Hackerman 320
Office hours
Statistical Machine Translation (errata) by Philipp Koehn You can read it online through the JHU library or or purchase from Amazon.
To understand how machine translation works, you must build a translation system. We will mainly grade hands-on work.
  • Five programming assignments (12% each)
  • Final project (30%)
  • In-class presentation: Language in ten minutes (10%)