Computational Linguistics - For the Computer Obsessed


Ever wonder how Google Translate works? Well, if you haven't tried Google Translate so far, then I recommend you do.  It is a free multilingual machine translation service to translate text, speech, images, sites, or real-time video from one language into another.  Or, heard of Siri, the personal voice assistance found in iPhone4S and above? 

Now how can a computer detect the language being typed and translate it into another of your choice?  That is the job of computational linguists.  Described as a sub-field of artificial intelligence, computational linguistics involves programming computers to process or produce language in the same way as humans. This complex, yet fascintaing, field utilizes disciplines such as computer science, linguistics, and mathematics. 

Computational Linguistics - Applications in Industry

The work of computational linguists is slowly making its way into many working systems today, including speech recognition systems, text-to-speech synthesizers, automated voice response systems, web search engines, text editors and language instruction materials.  It is also seeing increaing applications in military intelligence. 

How & Where to Apply?

Sounds interesting?  Are you wondering how can you become a computational linguist?  Well, this is an extremely specialized field of reserach that is usually found in global ivy league universities such as MIT and Sandoford.  The good news is that this program is available in India too.  International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT-H) offers B.Tech in Computer Science and MS by Research in Computational Linguistics (5 year Dual Degree) after Class XII.

To make it into the CLD program, you will need to crack a separate Entrance Exam conducted by IIIT-H.  The entrance exam is typically held in the month of April. MyExamPlan covers this exam UGEE-IIITH under Engineering section.

So, all you computer geeks, go ahead and explore this opportunity!

About IIIT-Hyderabad

The International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT-H) is an Deemed University founded in 1998. A Governing Council consisting of eminent people from academia, industry and government presides over the governance of the institution. Some of the luminaries in the council are Prof. Raj Reddy (University Professor of Computer Science & Robotics, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University, USA), Shri R. Chandrashekhar (President - NASSCOM), Shri S. Ramadorai (Vice Chairman - TCS), Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala (Professor - IIT Delhi) etc.

About the blogger: Tarun is the Co-founder at He can be reached at 

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Author: Neelesh Budhiraja