;   Medical Translation Insight: Machine translation cracks code, discovers secret society - ForeignExchange Translations

Machine translation discovered a secret society - medical translation
For most of us, secret societies are stuff we read about in Dan Brown novels. But the December issue of Wired delves into the story of a 250-year-old document that brought to light a very real, yet virtually unknown secret order. The document was written in a code of seemingly random collections of symbols and letters and went undeciphered for decades - until machine translation helped crack it.

Kevin Knight, a statistical machine translation specialist from California, provided the "missing link":
"Knight was part of an extremely small group of machine-translation researchers who treated foreign languages like ciphers—as if Russian, for example, were just a series of cryptological symbols representing English words. In code-breaking, he explained, the central job is to figure out the set of rules for turning the cipher's text into plain words: which letters should be swapped, when to turn a phrase on its head, when to ignore a word altogether. Establishing that type of rule set, or 'key,' is the main goal of machine translators too. Except that the key for translating Russian into English is far more complex. Words have multiple meanings, depending on context. Grammar varies widely from language to language. And there are billions of possible word combinations."
Here is Knight, talking about his code-braking, machine-translating ways:

And for the whole fascinating story of history, Freemasonry, code cracking, and machine translation, be sure to read the article at Wired.

[Kudos to The Verge!]

Before you say ""Auf Wiedersehen", why not learn a bit more about machine translation? To help you, we have assembled the following articles:
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