“Whenever I fire a linguist, the performance of our system improves.” ;)
Posted: 19 December 2010 09:53 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Machine translation.

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Posted: 19 December 2010 07:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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What a collection of nonsense. No wonder machine translation is so bad if these yahoos are running the show.

“There is,” Ostler says, “a sort of irony in that; though we may see a more multilingual future, as English starts to wane, you will see less multilingualism in individuals.” The fastest-growing languages online, he points out in his book, are Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish and French, in that order. “The main story of growth in the internet,” he suggests, “is of linguistic diversity, not concentration.”

The growth of different languages online is due to access to the internet, not any general trends about language use in general. It’s only in recent years that Arabic, Portuguese (Brazilian), and Mandarin speakers have gotten access in large numbers. You’ve also got more internet penetration in Spanish Latin America. France was slow to pick up on the internet and you’ve now got net expansion in French West Africa. English isn’t “waning;” we’re just seeing more of the other languages as they become plugged into the internet. Duh.

I think Hofstadler has it about right. A statistics-based approach alone will never cut it. Eventually, I think machine translation will get to the point where translation-for-sense is reasonably good. But translating literature will always be a human endeavor. It’s as much an art form as the the original writing.

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Posted: 20 December 2010 01:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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"if these yahoos “

Heh.

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Posted: 20 December 2010 11:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I just ran some randomly chosen verses from the Vulgate New Testament.  The translation comes back with the King James version.  This tells us something, but not about machine translation.  I tried a couple of verses from Stabat Mater.  I can’t find an exact translation it is using, but neither do I believe that a pure machine translation gives us something like “Oh, how sad and sore distressed was the blessed one, Mother of the only!”

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Posted: 20 December 2010 11:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Wow, they added Latin. That wasn’t there a couple of months ago.

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Posted: 20 December 2010 12:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Some examples:

Vulgate Psalm 10:2

In Domino confido quomodo dicitis animae meae transmigra in montes sicut passer.

Google translation:

I put my trust in the Lord of my soul How can you say to the mountains away from this place, like a sparrow.

Douay-Rheims translation:

In the Lord I put my trust: How then do you say to my soul, Get thee away from hence to the mountain like a sparrow.

KJV (Psalm 11:1):

In the LORD put I my trust: How say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?

Vulgate Psalm 123:7

Anima nostra quasi avis erepta est de laqueo venantium laqueus contritus est et nos liberati sumus.

Google translation:

Our soul is escaped as a bird from the snare of a snare of the hunters is broken, and we are delivered.

Douay Rheims:

Our soul hath been delivered as a sparrow out of the snare of the fowlers. The snare is broken: and we are delivered.

KJV (Psalm 123:7)

Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.

I tried this line from Lactantius’s “The Phoenix:”

Hoc nemus, hos lucos auis incolit unica Phoenix

Google detects the language as Swedish, and when manually switched to Latin produces this translation:

This grove, these groves, a single bird dwells in Phoenix

My translation:

The bird, the unique phoenix, inhabits this wood, these groves.

[Edit: added Google translation for a quote that I originally forgot to include; reformatted some of the quotes]

[ Edited: 20 January 2011 07:01 AM by Dave Wilton ]
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Posted: 20 January 2011 04:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Someone sent me this:

1) Open Google translator.

2) There you write this:  Will Justin Bieber ever have sex

3) Translate from English into Vietnamese.

4) copy the Vietnamese text.

5) Now translate from Vietnamese to English.

:-)

It works for other names and verbs, so it would appear to be a property the Vietnamese/English translations rather than a stored response.

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Posted: 20 January 2011 06:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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For further amusement, type most any complex sentence–in English–into Google’s translation engine.  Pick Spanish, French, or whatever target language you wish.
Take the result and translate it back to English.  After a few iterations, the results are often amusing.  E.g.

The possibility of Palin being even slightly aware of the historical meaning of blood libel is about that of her understanding the implication of blood sausage.

>>La posibilidad de que Palin está aún poco conscientes del significado histórico de libelo de sangre que está a punto de su comprensión de la implicación de morcilla. >>

>>The possibility that Palin is still failing to realize the historical significance of blood libel that is about your understanding of the involvement of black pudding.

If you remove the name of the individual, substituting a pronoun, the results give a better chuckle:

The possibility of her being even slightly aware of the historical meaning of blood libel is about that of her understanding the implication of blood sausage.

>> La posibilidad de su ser incluso un poco conscientes del significado histórico de libelo de sangre que está a punto de su comprensión de la implicación de morcilla.

The possibility of his being even slightly aware of the historical significance of blood libel that is about your understanding of the involvement of black pudding.

La posibilidad de su ser incluso un poco conscientes de la importancia histórica de libelo de sangre que está a punto de su comprensión de la participación de pudín negro.

The possibility of his being even slightly aware of the historical significance of blood libel that is about understanding the participation of black pudding.

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