Sunday, 28 February 2016

FOUND IN TRANSLATION

Ever easier access to a world of plenty

Over the last week Conductive World has featured postings dependent upon reports in a number of European languages, French, German, Swedish, Portuguese and Swedish. Hungarian has also featured recently, and something Russian will be reported soon.

Cut and paste

This reflects continuous advance in translation technology. As far as European languages are concerned, especially when translating from Western European languages into English, this is becoming very good indeed.

Cut and paste some foreign-language text into Google Translate or one of the other machine translaters – or insert a page's URL if your chosen translation technology will stand this – for an almost instant translation, sometimes a remarkably good one:


Romance languages come over very well into English, and Germanic languages usually fare pretty well too. Hungarian, however, being Finno-Ugrian, does not, though Slav languages are usually just about intelligible. Chinese usually does well enough to convey the gist.

There is now a wide range of languages to chose from (though this last week I failed to find anything to take on Luxembourgish).

Coming soon

Proper appreciation of what is going on in CE outside one's own country nowadays requires willingness to give foreign-language documents a try if not to be left out of things.

Real-time interpretation is now coming into operation, so presumably it will not be long till one can also listen to foreign news items on radio and TV.

Contrariwise

I do not know how machine translation manages when translating modern semi-professional jargon from English into foreign languages. I hope that, when it does. it does not suggest a precision that is not always apparent in originals.






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