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A set of essential language technology application areas described.
Speech technology develops applications in the areas of spoken language generation and speech recognition. Such applications include automatic information services or voice-operated electronic equipment. Speech technology applications can also be useful to special groups, like the visually impaired.
Written Language Applications
Authoring tools include hyphenation and spell checking programs and thesauri. Means for language analysis form an essential part in language technology applications: they describe languages in a form that is suitable for computers. For example natural language parsers are language analysis tools.
Information Retrieval and Management
Language technology applications in information retrieval use both linguistic and statistical methods. They exploit for example neural networks, word analysis programs and programs that return the words in their basic form.
Computer-Aided Language Learning
A computer is a versatile tool in language learning. The possibilities of computer-aided language learning are ample when compared to traditional studying methods. A computer can make good use of multimedia, such as video clips and sound. With language technology methods it is possible to build programs that react to the student's errors and give him constructive and encouraging feedback. Another advantage of computer-aided language learning is that the student is not dependent on time or place.
Machine translation has been the subject of research for decades. Fully automatic machine translation isn't easy to achieve because of the ambiguous nature of natural languages. However, with the help of language technology most of these ambiguities can be solved. Usually machine translation is carried out in several stages: first, a raw translation is produced, which then gets refined. Sometimes just the raw version is sufficient. Machine translation saves essentially both resources and costs.
Research and development in the area of language technology depends essentially on language resources, such as written language corpora, spoken language corpora, lexicons, terminologies etc. In Finland, language resources are maintained by different universities, the Research Institute for the Languages of Finland and CSC - Scientific Computing Ltd.
More information on different application areas in English at Language Technology World
. Information on the terms associated with different technologies can be found at the Terminology section