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La Idea

The translation process requires syntactical transformations of the source language structures to the various target language structures. To deal with a matrix language representation is much easier than with a tree structure, because in a matrix language representation this transformations reduce to simple matrix products.

The main idea behind Atamiri is precisely that: a matrix language representation using a formal interlingua, which allows to develop a truly multilingual machine translator, i.e. one program, one lexical and grammatical data base, supporting various languages capable of operating either as source or target language, with simultaneous translation from any source language to various target languages.

The estimated costs for the development and implementation of N languages using language pair transfer-based MT systems is proportional to the N(N-1) translation directions in the multilingual set. While for an interlingüa-based system, like Atamiri’s technology, the costs are just proportional to the N languages. In other words, the economic advantage factor is N-1.

The Babel team, a joint initiative from Alis Technologies and the Internet Society, in June 1997 announced the first major study of the
actual distribution of languages on the Internet. From 3,239 home pages containing more than 500 characters, there were 15 most frequently found languages on the Web. If we want to ensure complete cross communication between those 15 languages, we would have to cover 210 translation directions. In such an endeavor Atamiri offers a more economic solution by a factor of 14!

The increasing presence of Latin Languages induces the need of cross translation among them, as it is statistically shown in the study recently carried out by Funredes.

The GOOGLE Directory of web pages by language, currently covers 65 languages. It is reasonable to expect in the near future in the Web cross communication between those languages, therefore we should evaluate the costs of developing and implementing 4160 translation directions. In this case, Atamiri's solution is 64 times more economic!

Development time and costs required for language-pairs-based MT systems conspire against the urgently needed coverage of more languages, like those less widely spoken European languages and globally strategic languages. In this way it is practically impossible to think on a truly pluricultural world wide network.

Besides its interlingua design, the economically significative advantage of Atamiri is also due to its table driven multilingual translator engine, which allows the implementation of a new language without much additional programming effort. As soon as the new language has enough lexical entries in a given domain, it is ready to be used both as source and as target language in relation to all other languages already included in the system.