Falling off a log / kinderleicht

To translate languages by machine is a little less easy than falling off a log, but the need is so great that in less than a decade since it was first seriously suggested many groups of people have gone to work on the problem.

So writes Scientific American in an article headed Translation by Machine, in January 1956, when I was only nine and wanted to be an entomologist (where did it all go wrong?)

Some years ago there was considerable worry about whether a computer could have a large enough memory to store all the stems, plus the various endings, plus the irregular words, plus the grammar rules, plus the programming instructions. But it looks now as though computers will soon have plenty of fast storage capacity in the form of magnetic drums, tape or photographic film.

IBM 350, first hard disk, September 1956:

300px-BRL61-IBM_305_RAMAC.jpeg

Thanks to kalebeul.

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