Multra in Action

Project description

The project aims at the on-site evaluation and cyclic extension of a multilingual computerized translation tool, based on the Multra prototype. The prototype models a translation workbench with user-controlled mixed mode of mechanical and human translation. It is embedded in a powerful text processing environment including means for graphical representation, preserving source document lay-out and typography during mechanical translation. Working with Multra, the user marks a region in the source document (word, sentence fragment, sentence, paragraph, page, or the full document) and selects the translation function from the menu, or marks a word and selects one of the dictionary look-up functions, supporting human translation. The MT function of the prototype is unification-based. It includes four modules, responsible for analysis, preference, transfer, and generation. Preference rules express linguistic choices between competing analyses, transfer rules are applied according to specificity, and generation rules are applied in sequential order. The modularity of the MT function provides the basis for flexible user interaction. Seven languages are involved, i.e. Swedish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish, with Swedish as the source language. Based on the Multra prototype, a fullfledged MT tool tuned for the translation of technical manuals in the car manufacturing domain will be developed.

Contact person: Anna Sågvall Hein, principal investigator


  • Sågvall Hein, A., On the Translation of Nominal Expressions in Multilingual Unification-Based Setting. In: Hajicova, E. (ed.), Functional Approaches to Language Description. Proceedings of a Conference in Prague, November 24-27 1992. Prague 1993.
  • Sågvall Hein, A., Preferences and Linguistic Choices in the Multra Machine Translation System. In: Eklund, R. (ed.), NODALIDA '93 Proceedings of '9:e Nordiska Datalingvistikdagarna', Stockholm 3-5 June 1993. Stockholm 1994.
  • Sågvall Hein, A., Preference Mechanisms of the Multra Machine Translation system. In: Partee, B. H. & P. Sgall (eds.) Discourse and Meaning. Papers in Honour of Eva Hajicova. John Benjamins Publishing Company. Amsterdam/Philadelphia. 1996.
  • Almqvist, I. & A. Sågvall Hein, Defining ScaniaSwedish - A Controlled Language for Truck Maintenance. In: Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Controlled Language Applications. 26-27 March 1996. Centre for Computational Linguistics. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.
  • Sågvall Hein, A., 1997, Language Control and Machine Translation. In: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Theoretical and Methodological Issues in Machine Translation. July 23-25, 1997. St. John's College, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • Sågvall Hein, A., Almqvist, I. & Starbäck, P., 1997, Scania Swedish - A Basis for Multilingual Machine Translation. In: Translating and the Computer 19. Papers from the Aslib conference held on 13 & 14 November 1997. London.

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