Study Language Technology

Language technology is a truly interdisciplinary field that combines linguistics, computer science, information technology, mathematics, cognitive science, phonetics, psychology, translation studies and research artificial intelligence. In practice, language technology focuses on the machine-assisted modelling and processing of natural language. Language technology includes theoretical research in computational linguistics and the development of real-world applications such as grammar checkers, proofreading tools, information retrieval engines, speech recognition and synthesis, machine translation and intelligent interactive systems.

At the University of Helsinki, you can study courses in language technology within the BA in Languages (as part of the linguistics study track) and in the MA of Linguistic Diversity in the Digital Age (LingDA). For more information about specific courses, please have a look at our course overview and also look at the degree structure in WebOodi.

If you have started your studies before 2017, take a look at the course correspondences in the old and new curricula.

The following picture illustrates studies in language technology at the BA and MA level (columns are study periods and rows are academic years starting with the fall semester):

  • Green boxes indicate common courses for all students of the linguistics study track at BA level and common courses for all students of the MA programme, 10 ECTS each
  • Blue boxes mark courses in language technology (dark blue indicates regular courses that are compulsory for language technology and light blue indicates optional courses that may or may not be given every year – the picture only shows a few of the possibilities for optional courses), 5 ECTS each
  • Orange boxes show a selection of BA courses in general linguistics
  • Grey boxes mark courses that are common for the entire BA programme

Language technology is part of the linguistics track at the BA level. Students who have taken this track are automatically admitted to LingDA, our MA programme, and may choose language technology track at the master level.

MA Linguistic Diversity in the Digital Age: Language Technology Track

If you want to specialise in language technology then you will need to take the module LDA-3100T (Studies in Language Technology) that includes 20 ECTS of compulsory courses and 10 ECTS of optional courses. There are many options depending on your background and interests and we plan to collaborate intensively with the MSc programme in data science. The following figure gives an (incomplete) overview of course options:

You can also study language technology as an optional module within other programmes. We offer the following two modules:

Its is, of course, also possible to register for individual courses if you meet the prerequisites and sufficient space is available. Please, have a look at our current courses and feel free to contact Jörg Tiedemann or Mathias Creutz (firstname dot lastname at helsinki dot fi) in case of further questions.

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Career prospects

In addition to the businesses in their own field, language technology graduates usually find employment in information technology, translation services, telecommunications as well as at software and publishing houses. However, their background, which combines the humanities and technology in a diverse fashion, opens doors to other kinds of employment, such the career of a software entrepreneur. It should be observed that as a major subject, language technology does not provide the opportunity to acquire teaching qualifications.