I’m fascinated by the many and various ways people have found to use machine translation in their everyday lives. I’m doing a Ph.D. on the topic and my first articles was published this summer (you can access it here starting on page 199). While working on that, I’m also doing this MT Stories side project. Why?
- I like stories.
- Stories are from everyday life. They are real and about real people. People like you and me.
- Stories are not academic. There are no strict requirements on form and genre. These stories are my escape from my day job in academia.
- Stories are written in normal language. This site is also my escape from scientific writing, which is not something that comes naturally to me. This site lets me talk about a subject that fascinates me in a language I like.
In your face, academia.
And actually the project feeds into my research. I’ve found new use cases for MT that I never thought of before, one that I have never heard of anyone thinking of before (stay tuned!). I’ve honed my interviewing skills and I can test new questions in the field.
On the other hand, all I’m really doing is putting research data online. In a different form than expected, for sure, but it’s still basic research data elicited through interviewing.
What kinds of stories are they then?
Even though I assign pseudonyms to all people who agree to be interviewed, the stories all concern real people (the only exception is Dr. C. Koby, and that is explained in his story). Some of them I find through discussions I have, others are referred to me by friends and relatives. If you know someone who uses MT in their everyday lives, send me a note to nominate them for a story!