SAIC Evolves Hybrid Language Translation Platform; iPhone App in Works

Science Applications International Corp. is continuing to venture into the language translation field, releasing new SAIC Linguistics software and software-as-a-service offerings and laying the foundation for a commercial iPhone application. 

The company said its November 2010 acquisition of AppTek has enabled it to provide a hybrid linguistics platform that employs both statistical and rule-based machine translation technologies for text and voice.

Google Translate and most other competing services utilize only statistical machine translation, which analyzes large samples of previously-translated documents to determine the closest fit in the second language.

Rule-based translation, which is a more labor-intensive approach, encodes the grammar of a language and the meanings of words in software.

“The hybrid approach allows us to quickly develop new languages, accurately,” said Hassan Sawaf, SAIC’s chief scientist for language technology. 

“We’ve made a commitment to continuing to evolve the technology and are putting significant R&D funding and effort into continual enhancement of the core technology,” said Jonathan Litchman, senior VP of operations at SAIC.

SAIC will soon release its iPhone application, which will allow users to hear translated phrases of words in English, Spanish and Arabic.

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