The idea of a mechanical process for converting one human language into another can be traced to a letter written by René Descartes in 1629, and after nearly 400 years, this vision has not been fully realized. Machine translation (MT) using digital computers has been a grand challenge for computer scientists, mathematicians, and linguists since the first international conference on MT was held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1952. Currently, Lincoln Laboratory is achieving success in a highly focused research program that specializes in developing speech translation technology for limited language resource domains and in adapting foreign-language proficiency standards for MT evaluation. Our specialized research program is situated within a general framework for multilingual speech and text processing for government applications.