language engineering

GC: n

CT: Language technology will help in designing and implementing the systems needed to effectively deal with information and knowledge in a number of ways. Speech recognition will help in interacting with a number of devices in our own native language. Also, information could be presented by generating speech. Understanding requests and browsing the vast amount of knowledge available is an essential component that can alleviate the problem of information overload and ensures that the relevant knowledge is accessed. It will also be possible to generate and present information in different languages through automated machine translation (Ghonaimy, 1998).
Language engineering will be essential for supporting global business in general and electronic commerce in particular. The success of any business will depend on the quality of information about its customers, its competitors and the market in general. The needed information has to be identified, extracted and presented in natural language either as text or speech. In general, language engineering will deliver the right information at the right time and in the language of the recipient. Automated translation together with document management will improve the quality of service in a global marketplace [LINGLINK, 1997]. In general, success in globalization requires putting emphasis on localization. Some companies interested in international markets organize their effort in a number of activities that could be summarized as follows (Antaki, 1998):

  1. Developers organize a product so that linguistic components can be modified easily (internationalization).
  2. Translators make the product available in different target languages.
  3. Editors review each version to ensure that culture-specific items are not missed.
  4. Marketing division takes care of localization to adapt the product to the local market.

S: UNESCO – (last access: 22 December 2014)

N: 1. language (n): late 13c., langage “words, what is said, conversation, talk,” from Old French langage (12c.), from Vulgar Latin linguaticum, from Latin lingua “tongue,” also “speech, language”. The form with -u- developed in Anglo-French. Meaning “a language” is from c.1300, also used in Middle English.
engineering (n): 1720, “work done by an engineer,” from engineer (n.). As a field of study, attested from 1792. An earlier word was engineership (1640s); engineery was attempted in 1793, but it did not stick.
2. Language Engineering means applying scientific principles to the design, construction and maintenance of tools to help deal with information that has been expressed in natural languages (the languages that people use for communicating with one another).
The underlying science is linguistics – the study of how languages work.
3. The tools can be of varying kinds: many are computer systems to help with such tasks as translation, language teaching, abstracting and indexing, information extraction and so on, but language engineering also leads to more intangible “tools” such as dictionaries and thesauri, guidelines for authors, methods for teaching foreign languages.
Anything which involves applying the science of language to the solution of practical tasks is language engineering.
Machine translation and machine-aided translation form a particularly important application of this discipline.

S: 1. OED –; (last access: 22 December 2014). 2 & 3. (last access: 22 December 2014).


CR: artificial intelligence, computer science, machine translation, machine translation (2), translation memory.