If you are fluent in a language other than English....
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21-01-2012, 08:51 AM
RE: If you are fluent in a language other than English....
(20-01-2012 08:12 PM)lucradis Wrote:  Not only do I not speak it I can't understand it when reading. All I know I'd that translation isn't exactly accurate because Scottish Gaelic and Irish gaelic are fairly different (so I've been told) and I could only find an Irish Gaelic translator.

As far as i know they have similarities but are different, Ive heard both spoke and i can't tell the difference, apart from the accents.

(20-01-2012 08:12 PM)lucradis Wrote:  I've tried to learn French (forced) German, mandarin, and Japanese all to no avail! I am language incompatible. I can barely speak English sometimes.
French was manditory in my school. If its written down i can usually understand it (i just look for a similar english word). But when its spoken to me it sounds like gibberish. Ive been to france once but by that time i'd forgotten all but the basics.

We barely speak english up here. As some of our english users will point out Tongue.

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21-01-2012, 09:25 AM
RE: If you are fluent in a language other than English....
Hell most of us Americans are not fluent in the English language. I include myself in that. If you were part of the baby boom it was just the way it was. It also depends on what part of America you were raised up in. My family came from Spain and Cuba and they refused to talk Spanish in the house. They didn't want us to have trouble with discrimination. My father would come home each day mad because someone would call him spic or wet back. He didn't want that for us kids. He was wrong for doing that but I understand it.
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21-01-2012, 10:47 AM
RE: If you are fluent in a language other than English....
(21-01-2012 04:37 AM)Smooshmonster Wrote:  
(20-01-2012 11:18 PM)cufflink Wrote:  Since you're a Machine Translation professional, I'm particularly interested in your take on this. If the uses of MT in the previous posts are "not what machine translation is for," what is it for, then? What are the proper and improper domains of MT? And what are your predictions for the future of MT? Will it ever fully replace human translation?

MT as it is now, and as it will be in the forseeable future, cannot completely replace humans. But what it can do is remove the need for human translators and replace them with post-editors. All post-editors need to do is go over sentences already translated by an MT System and correct the errors.
This cuts down the time needed and even if you pay post-editors more per minute than translators, they will still cost you less so it's well worth the investment. (Actual numbers available on request, because I need to look for them)

My previous post was meant as a joke though. I do suspect that this is exactly what google translate is for. So if you are translating into your native language, you can post-edit the result. If you're translating into a foreign language, that's where problems might arise, especially if the translation is not too good.

Ah - so as I said previously, it seems interpretation is everything. Or at least contains that human element that so far, MT is unable to replicate. I'm cool with that. It really spells out the difference between translator and interpreter - especially with respect to diplomacy and such. Smile

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21-01-2012, 01:45 PM
RE: If you are fluent in a language other than English....
(21-01-2012 09:25 AM)N.E.OhioAtheist Wrote:  Hell most of us Americans are not fluent in the English language. I include myself in that. If you were part of the baby boom it was just the way it was. It also depends on what part of America you were raised up in. My family came from Spain and Cuba and they refused to talk Spanish in the house. They didn't want us to have trouble with discrimination. My father would come home each day mad because someone would call him spic or wet back. He didn't want that for us kids. He was wrong for doing that but I understand it.

I'm starting to think you have some sort of obsession with race/racism. In the few times I've taken notice of your posts I've only seen you complain about being discriminated against.

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21-01-2012, 04:32 PM
RE: If you are fluent in a language other than English....
How about this beautiful poem about the transience of life.

De bomen komen uit de grond en uit hun stam hun twijgen
en iedereen vindt het heel gewoon dat zij weer bladeren krijgen
We zien ze vallen naar de grond en dan opnieuw weer groeien
Zo heeft de aarde ons geleerd dat al wat sterft zal bloeien



The sentences make up are very simple (a typical trait for Dutch poetry)

The trees raise from the ground up out of their trunks the twigs
everyone thinks its normal that they bear leaves again
we see them falling on the ground and grow again
so the earth has showed us everything that dies will flourish

now go to translate and watch it get battered up Dodgy

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Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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21-01-2012, 04:46 PM
RE: If you are fluent in a language other than English....
(20-01-2012 04:44 PM)Hamata k Wrote:  Ich bin der weiße Leere. Ich bin der kalten Stahl. Ich bin der gerade Schwert. Mit Klinge in der Hand werde ich ernten die Sünden dieser Welt und clense sie in das Feuer der Zerstörung! Ich bin Haku-Men. Das Ende ist gekommen!
Is this a bible verse? Anyway, sounds fun Big Grin

And here:
"Wir helfen Ihnen, die Welt zum Schutz der Wälder"

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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21-01-2012, 05:02 PM
RE: If you are fluent in a language other than English....
(20-01-2012 04:39 PM)Smooshmonster Wrote:  You can even read my latest publication on the subject here

Nice paper. Only reason I could even start to comprehend it is that we have a group in my lab studying that very topic and my group installs and maintains the software for them and helps set up their pipelines and workflows.

(21-01-2012 04:37 AM)Smooshmonster Wrote:  But what it can do is remove the need for human translators and replace them with post-editors. All post-editors need to do is go over sentences already translated by an MT System and correct the errors.

Apparently this is a much harder problem for low density languages like Urdu and Pashto that the group in my lab is interested in. But that's precisely what they're trying to do.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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21-01-2012, 05:22 PM
A little experiment
Great thread! I had never before looked seriously at Google Translate. This discussion encouraged me to.

So I did a little experiment that perhaps some people will find interesting.


METHOD
I asked GT to translate the following two extremely simple English sentences into a dozen different languages:

A. I know that.
B. I know him.

The target languages I chose were ones I’ve had some experience with, where I felt I could judge whether the results were accurate: French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Italian, Latin, Persian, Indonesian, Malay, Hebrew, Yiddish, Chinese.

EXPLANATION
English is unusual in that it uses the same verb, “know,” for knowing a fact (A) and knowing a person (B). Most other languages have separate, unrelated verbs for those two senses of “know.” This is an elementary point that no native speaker would ever get wrong. So the question was, would GT be able to look at the A and B sentences and choose the correct word for “know” in the target languages?

A second consideration was whether GT would translate “that” correctly. In the A sentence, “that” is a pronoun. But in many sentences, the “that” you get after “know” is not a pronoun but a (subordinate) conjunction: “I know that he likes her.” And those words are generally different. So a secondary question was, would GT recognize that to translate the A sentence, it should use “pronoun that” rather than “conjunction that”?

RESULTS
Six passes, six fails. (If any native speakers of these languages disagree with my judgments, please let me know!) I’ve given the Persian, Hebrew, Yiddish, and Chinese data in transcription.

French—PASS
A. Je le sais.
B. Je le connais.

Spanish—PASS
A. Ya lo só.
B. Ya lo conozco.

German—PASS
A. Das weiss ich.
B. Ich kenne ihn.

Dutch—PASS
A. Dat weet ik.
B. Ik ken hem.

Italian—FAIL
A. Io so che.
B. Io lo conosco.
A is wrong, since che is the conjunction, not the pronoun. Should be Io lo so, or just Lo so. GT got the verbs right, however.

Latin—FAIL
A. Scio.
B. Ego scio eum.
B gets the verb wrong. (Scio is for knowing a fact.)

Persian—FAIL
A. Man midaanam ke.
B. Man uraa midaanim.
This is a mess. A uses the wrong “that.” B not only uses the wrong verb, but the subject and verb don’t even agree.

Indonesian—PASS
A. Aku tahu itu.
B. Aku kenal dia.
The only thing is, the word given for “I,” aku, is the familiar, not the polite, form.

Malay—FAIL
A. Saya tahu bahawa.
B. Saya tahu dia.
Malay and Indonesian are really dialects of the same language, only a little further apart than British and American English. So it’s odd that the Indonesian is OK while the Malay fails so badly: wrong “that” in A, wrong verb in B. (Interestingly, the word for “I” here is the polite, not the familiar, form.)

Hebrew—PASS
A. Ani yodea et zeh.
B. Ani makir oto.

Yiddish—FAIL
A. Ikh visn az.
B. Ikh visn im.
Another mess: Wrong “that” in A, wrong verb in B, and in both, the verb is the infinitive (the “to” form you find in the dictionary).

Chinese (Mandarin)—FAIL
A. Wǒ zhīdào.
B. Wǒ zhīdào tā.
Wrong verb in B.

DISCUSSION
I get two things from the results. First and not surprisingly, GT seems to do somewhat better with the more “familiar” languages—familiar to western speakers, that is. Second, the results GT provides need to be checked carefully, because it can get even elementary things wrong.

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21-01-2012, 05:40 PM
RE: A little experiment
(21-01-2012 05:22 PM)cufflink Wrote:  Great thread! I had never before looked seriously at Google Translate. This discussion encouraged me to.

So I did a little experiment that perhaps some people will find interesting.
...
DISCUSSION
I get two things from the results. First and not surprisingly, GT seems to do somewhat better with the more “familiar” languages—familiar to western speakers, that is. Second, the results GT provides need to be checked carefully, because it can get even elementary things wrong.

Nice. Both the Italian and Chinese fails surprise me. In particular the Chinese fail since NIST and DARPA have been sponsoring research for a while now.

P.S. Who knew the old guy knew so many languages. Big Grin

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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21-01-2012, 05:57 PM
RE: A little experiment
(21-01-2012 05:40 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  P.S. Who knew the old guy knew so many languages. Big Grin

There's a helluva lot you don't know about the old guy, GM. Wink

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