Tembua: The Precision Language Solution Newsletter
Don't pay for something you can get for free!
May 2015
In This Issue
First Patents
First Patents


In the mid-1930s the first patents for "translating machines" were applied for by Georges Artsrouni, for an automatic bilingual dictionary using paper tape. Russian Peter Troyanskii submitted a more detailed proposal that included both the bilingual dictionary and a method for dealing with grammatical roles between languages, based on the grammatical system of Esperanto. This system was separated into three stages: stage one consisted of a native-speaking editor in the source language to organize the words into their logical forms and to exercise the syntactic functions; stage two required the machine to "translate" these forms into the target language; and stage three required a native-speaking editor in the target language to normalize this output. Troyanskii's proposal remained unknown until the late 1950s, by which time computers were well-known and utilized.





"The smaller our world becomes, the more important it is that we understand each other."

--Patricia May, CEO & President of Tembua

Perhaps of all the creations of man, language is the most astonishing.


- Giles Lytton Strachey

Don't pay for something you can get for free!
     Recently, Tembua has had fun presenting lunch 'n learn events to groups of attorneys. We cater in the lunch, talk to them about linguistic services, and answer their questions. People trained in the law ask detailed and often penetrating questions.

Someone almost always wants to know about free online translation services. And they're always surprised when I say, "Absolutely! Don't pay for something you can get for free!"

There's more to it than that, of course, and when the surprised laughter stops, I go deeper. 


People have talked about machine translation since the 1800s, and the first patent was filed during the 1930s.  


It's not a new idea.    However, progress has been slow, as linguists originally underestimated the depth and complexity of human languages.

When I was an undergraduate studying computation linguistics, we were told that within 5 years, all translators would be out of business. Indeed, machine translation (MT) has come a long way in the decades since I finished my degree, and it can do amazing things today, but the translation industry is larger than ever before. With both options available, how do you know whether MT or human translation is best for a particular application? I lay out this issue by direction and usage.


To read more, click here Free!




We do apologize.  In our March Newsletter, Interview with a VPM,  we spotlighted one of our clients, Plexus International and used the wrong the logo.  Here is the correct one:  



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Patricia May
Tembua: The Precision Language Solution

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