FLExTrans was originally conceived by SIL member Ron Lockwood in 2015. Ron had experience with the SIL legacy tool CARLA and he wanted to create a modern rule-based machine translation system for low-resource languages. He thought that for low-resource languages, statistically-based machine translation would not yield the desired results. So he sought to use the best of the existing tools to create a system that would be easy to use and that took advantage of common tools used by the field linguist. He wanted the user to be able to start with very little data and gradually grow a machine translator.
SIL International is a faith-based nonprofit organization committed to serving language communities worldwide as they build capacity for sustainable language development. SIL does this primarily through research, translation, training and materials development. SIL works alongside ethnolinguistic communities and their partners as they discover how language development addresses the challenging areas of their daily lives—social, cultural, political, economic and spiritual.
SIL Language Technology supports these activities by developing software, fonts and keyboards. To find out more about our work follow the links at the bottom of this page.