Apertium: A Free/Open-Source Machine Translation System

By Allyson Boone

What is Apertium?

Apertium is a machine translation system that was first created in the project OpenTrad in 2004.


A machine translation system is used to translate text from one language to another.


Apertium is free and available to everyone.

How it Works

The Apertium software is a generic engine and contains the data for many language pairs.


Apertium translates text first by using dictionaries to find the equivalent word in the target language.


Apertium then uses rules about the grammar of each language to form coherent sentences.

Other machine translation systems


  • Free/open source
  • Does not need to be trained on bilingual text to translate
  • Use non-free/closed-source rules and dictionaries or need to be trained on bilingual text to be able to translate

Advantages of Apertium

  • Code is reusable
  • Free and accessible to everyone
  • Can be easily improved because it is open source

Apertium is one of the best machine translation systems available today and is continually improving.


By Allyson Allyson


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