Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Google Translation

Dear JLC
In continuation of our conversation about translation i read again Umberto Eco's book ' Mouse or Rat ? Translation as Negotiation' (Phoenix, 2004 today morning . He discussed the problem of machine translation in the first chapter ( the plants of shakespeare) itself. He explained his experience with a website called . I want to quote a few lines of Eco here:

 " In order to understand a text , or at least in order to decide how it should be translated , translators have to figure out the possible world pictured by that text. Often they can only make a hypothesis about that possible world. this means that a translation also the result of a conjecture or of a series of conjectures. once the most reasonable conjecture has been made, the translators should make their linguistic decisions accordingly ."  (page 20) 

surprisingly i have seen the news and subsequently the mail of Mr Ganesan about the google translate in the evening. Immediately i have tried with my poem. I have repeated in Tamil what Eco did with Italian. I too agree with some of the members, google can improve. But it is not a problem of google. " translation is not only concerned with such matters as 'equivalence' in meaning, it is also concerned with the more or less indispensable 'equivalences' in the substance of expression." I think a machine can not translate a poem correctly.


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