How are you going to build a machine translation system unless you know at least a little bit about language? You will be required to give a short presentation (~10 minutes) on a particular language, e.g., Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Hindi, Italian, or Maltese.
You should prepare three to six slides for your presentation, covering language facts (demographics, location, etc.) important linguistic characteristics (orthography, morphology, syntax) and computational efforts such as resources, tools, papers. For instance, how many entries are there about the language in the MT Archive and what are they generally about? Be creative and have fun. Asking for help from native speakers or language experts is great. But you are ultimately responsible for the presentation.
Nizar Habash inspired this assignment. For inspiration, check out:
We will grade on clarity and detail. Did you learn something really cool? Tell us!