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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.


Chris Callison-Burch

Time and Place

This course will next be offered at Penn in Spring of 2018.


Statistical Machine Translation (errata) by Philipp Koehn You can purchase the Statistical Machine Translation textbook from Amazon.


  • 60% Homework
  • 25% Final Project
  • 10% Language Research
  • 5% Peer Grading