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Computer Aided Translation

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  • Zdenek_Bobek
    Hi all ... translator ... I read an article in a magazine dealing with this topic. It said that there are good programs translating American English to Mexican
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 31, 2000
      Hi all
      > >you would write
      > >programs for your damned computers that would be cheaper than any
      translator
      > >would be.
      > >
      > >Hmmmm, it's happening, very slowly but surely.....
      >
      > Don't hold your breath. Have you ever read machine translation
      > output? It's occasionally good for a laugh but not much else.
      >
      > "Machine translation is about where self-steering automobiles are."
      > - Bjorn Austraadt
      >
      I read an article in a magazine dealing with this topic. It said that there
      are good programs translating American English to Mexican Spanish and
      American English to Japanese. I do not anything about Japanese and very
      little Spanish. (Astala vista, baby! - from Terminator, Muchas gracias -
      from a book for teenagers, Buenos Aires - oh, sorry it is a town). I think
      it is possible to create a good working translator. If the languages it
      works with have relatively regular grammar - or 100% regular as some
      artificial languages have (i.e. Esperanto) - the translation might be OK.
      Actually I can hardly imagine a program able to recognise all features and
      irregularities of Slavonic languages. The Czech or Polish grammars look like
      a jungle.
      A friend of mine, who is a Chinese-Czech translator, told me about a Chinese
      businessman who uses a computer that translates Chinese symbols into written
      English and vice versa. He said the program could translate only very simple
      sentences, because the languages are too different.
      I am not afraid of those programs. If some good ones come, there still will
      be a lot of work for us. I do not believe any machine can translate real
      literature. They might have intelligence in the future but they will never
      have hearts and souls.
      Zdenek
    • Otto Pacholik
      ... I would not be so sure about that. It is only a question of sufficient processing power, memory and really huge database of every possible meaning. Look at
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 1, 2000
        > be a lot of work for us. I do not believe any machine can translate real
        > literature. They might have intelligence in the future but they will never
        > have hearts and souls.
        I would not be so sure about that. It is only a question of sufficient
        processing power, memory and really huge database of every possible meaning.
        Look at a very sophisticated example at:

        www.inet.cz/jtp/cesky/Ruzne/KonecPrekl.htm

        it is really blood-curdling :-)

        Have a nice day,

        Otto
      • Alexandr Rosen
        Dear fellow list members, Svrbi mne jazyk (`my tongue is itching - how is this in English?), so I better say something: [Michael Grant says:] ... I agree.
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 6, 2000
          Dear fellow list members,

          Svrbi' mne jazyk (`my tongue is itching' - how is this in English?), so I better
          say something:

          [Michael Grant says:]
          > They've gone down quite a bit--most of the leading packages (at least
          > the "individual" versions) are well below $1000 now, and are no
          > longer out of reach for translators with a "western" clientele. I'm
          > told they pay for themselves pretty quickly if you do certain kinds
          > of repetitive text (which you receive in the form of electronic
          > files, not hard copy or fax).

          I agree. The other thing is that the translation should be in the same format as
          the original.

          [Otto Pacholik says:]
          > > BTW: is
          > > there anyone on the list who has worked with a CAT system?
          > Yes, there is. I have been working with DejaVu for some 3 years and I can
          > confirm I have earned a lot of money, thanks to this tool. I have also
          > experience with Trados and IBM TM.

          Some time ago I persuaded my wife - who is the professional translator from the
          two of us - to make the investment and there is no reason to regret it. I can
          only second Otto's experience. The longer you use it, the better resources you
          have and the better chance that the input at least partially matches something
          which has been translated already. Of course, at least at the start you should
          feed in aligned parallel texts and glossaries.

          In my opinion, the best thing about those tools is that you are no longer
          frustrated by trying in vain to remember/find how you translated this some time
          ago. Also, some people say that translators and agencies will soon be routinely
          exchanging not only glossaries, but also databases of translations. However,
          some translation agencies may try to use such tools for sending their
          translators only `squeezed out' texts - without parts present in previous
          translations and even without `internal repetitions'. But this is another story.

          We were considering Trados Workbench and Atril DejaVu. The former is more widely
          used and was cheaper with more intuitive interface for those accustomed to MS
          Word, the latter has better customer support, is better in dealing with DTP
          formats and offers more functions - like assembling translation of a sentence
          from portions found at different places in the database. The latter won.


          [Michael Grant says further:]
          > Still haven't used one myself, unless you count WordFisher, but since
          > there basically aren't any for the Macintosh, I'm thinking of
          > eventually creating my own for the Mac market.

          Michael, that's a very good idea. There are a number DTP formats around and lots
          of DTP stuff done on the Mac, and often these types of documents are good
          candidates for CAT: the translator can receive a graphical image of the original
          file (a pdf file) and seperately the text to be translated. No need to own a
          range of costly licenses for the DTP software and no need to learn to handle
          them. And the Mac<->PC conversion tends to be a tricky business. However, it
          would be nice if a Mac user could share a TM database with a PC user.

          Sorry about this lengthy contribution, it's my favourite topic...

          Kind regards

          Alexandr Rosen

          Institute of Theoretical and Computational Linguistics
          Faculty of Philosophy, Charles University, Prague

          address: UTKL FF UK, Celetna 13, CZ 110 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic
          tel.: +420-2-24491858, e-mail: alexandr.rosen@...
          http://utkl.ff.cuni.cz/~rosen/
        • Michael Grant
          ... Thanks for the support. Lord knows if I ll ever find the time. My product will definitely have to support TMX and Unicode for cross-platform compatibility.
          Message 4 of 4 , Apr 6, 2000
            >Michael, that's a very good idea. There are a number DTP formats
            >around and lots
            >of DTP stuff done on the Mac, and often these types of documents are good
            >candidates for CAT: the translator can receive a graphical image of
            >the original
            >file (a pdf file) and seperately the text to be translated. No need to own a
            >range of costly licenses for the DTP software and no need to learn to handle
            >them. And the Mac<->PC conversion tends to be a tricky business. However, it
            >would be nice if a Mac user could share a TM database with a PC user.

            Thanks for the support. Lord knows if I'll ever find the time. My
            product will definitely have to support TMX and Unicode for
            cross-platform compatibility. I'd like to base it on 4th Dimension,
            but so far I'm not sure it has all the capabilities that I'd need.
            I'm also keeping an eye on Panorama and Omnis, and even good old
            FileMaker.

            Any database wizzes on the list?

            Michael

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