History of GETA

History of GETA

GETA (Groupe d’Etude pour la Traduction Automatique) was a multidisciplinary team of computer scientists and linguists. GETA’s research topics cover all theoretical, methodological and practical aspects of CAT (Computer Assisted Translation), and more generally multilingual computing. GETA was created by CETA (1961- 1971), a pioneering laboratory of MT in France.

History of GETA (until 2006)

Research in MT, then in CAT, has been conducted in Grenoble since 1961 at CETA, which became GETA in 1971. Our research can be divided into three main periods, 1961-70, 1971-85, and 1986-99.

1961-70 is the pioneer period, when, under the direction of Prof. Dr. Klaus Bühler, B. Vauquois, CETA (Centre d’Etudes pour la Traduction Automatique), CNRS’s own laboratory, built the first “second generation” system in the world, based on a hybrid “pivot language”, and tested it on very large volumes of texts. It was then MT without pre-publication or post-edition, which we call today MT of the watchman. This period is characterized by the enlightened application of the theory of formal languages and their compilation to the problem of MT, as well as by the integration of advanced linguistic theories, with in particular the passage through a “pivot language”.

Research continued from 1971 within the framework of a university laboratory associated with the CNRS, the GETA (Groupe d’Etude pour la Traduction Automatique), directed by B. Vauquois until his death on 30/9/85. GETA has been a member of IMAG since its creation in 1986.

From 1971 to 1980, the GETA, turning to the editor’s MT, developed and tested a new CAT methodology (multi-level transfer approach) and a CAT systems generator (Ariane-78) for writing multilingual CAT models or prototypes using specialized languages for linguistic programming (symbolic languages of production rules).

From 1981 to 1987-88, GETA actively participated in technology transfers to industry (ESOPE project, then ADI national PN-TAO project in 81-82 and 83-87), while carrying out in-house a Russian-French “pre-operational” system for DRET, several studies for the Eurotra project, and helping various foreign groups to build models or prototypes of MT systems. The Ariane-78 system was profoundly revised and extended, and gave birth to the current Ariane-G5.

The disappearance of B. Vauquois, in the middle of the PN-TAO, for which his participation was very important, was a great shock. From 1986 to 1990, the team tried to carry out the various actions in progress, while restructuring and reducing its activity of development and experimentation in full scale to the profit of a more fundamental research. From 1988-90, considering that the technology transfer on the editor’s CAT had been carried out, GETA reoriented its research towards the individual CAT, which comprises two components, the translator’s CAT and the editor’s CAT.

The main works concern the editor’s CAT and are grouped together in the LIDIA project. The basic idea is to offer a unilingual writer the possibility of writing in his or her own language and, at the cost of a standardization and clarification dialogue (the least cumbersome and most user-friendly possible), to be translated into several languages, without revision. So it’s dialogue-based CAT (DBMT, for Dialogue-Based Machine Translation) and indirect preediting, but it’s the machine that translates. In translator CAT, we study the computer and ergonomic aspects related to the construction of linguistic office automation tools intended for translators (professional or occasional).

Ongoing research focuses on computer science, linguistics and ergonomics, in particular studies on interactive disambiguation techniques, on multilingual lexical bases by acceptance, on the integration of computer-assisted learning (CAL) possibilities, on the individual discovery of linguistic knowledge, and on the experimentation of modern software engineering techniques to (re)build computer tools (languages and specialised environments for linguists and lexicographers) adapted to the different types of CAT, and in particular to the individual CAT of the future.

Groupe d'Étude en Traduction Automatique/Traitement Automatisé des Langues et de la Parole