Douglas Adams introduced the Babel fish (“small, yellow and leech-like, and probably the oddest thing in the Universe”), a wondrous species and if you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language.

Now wouldn’t that be a dream – minus the fish in the ear.

While waiting patiently for that fish, a question comes to mind: why do some technologies lift off like the Space Shuttle Discovery, while others free fall into the abyss of nothingness?

The mere idea of good MT can certainly send some translators off the bend and into the arms of the nearest headhunter, but in fact, machine translation (MT) has been treading water for quite some time now, causing many chuckles and LOLs, but hardly any real competition.

So, will MT remain synonymous with horrible translations or will it lift off to become a force to reckon with?

Only time will tell.

Until next time…