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Question for "Fusion: East meets West" project (Getty Foundation) - software for translating songs?
Thread poster: 04patrick
English to Lithuanian
Nov 17, 2006

Shalom from london,im working with the getty foundation on the Fusion:East meets West project.This encounter starting june 2007, brings musicians together,promotes peace,and generates funds for charities.Advice on translation from a variety of languages is required.Is there software to translate songs direct from the stage to the computer screen? check for data on the project or contact kind regards,patrick.

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2006-11-17 13:42]

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:21
English to Spanish
+ ...
Dream on Nov 17, 2006

O dream on, Patrick, I can assure you that there is not, nor can there ever be software for translating songs.

Only the human brain can do that, each one in its own way. Songs cannot even be "translated" in the usual sense; they must often be re-created.

Software can do may things the human brain cannot, and the human brain can do many things that software cannot.

Therefore, it would be necessary to render the lyrics of the songs to be presented by doing translations into various languages before the event.

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shfranke  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:21
English to Arabic
+ ...
Second Henry's good comment; the answer is "no" Nov 18, 2006


I second Henry's good comment; the answer about such translation software is "no."

Perhaps the next productive course of action for the Getty Foundation would be to:

1. Obtain the rights for working with other people's intellectual property (a matter of much recent concern, consternation and adverse publicity at the Getty)


2. Engage professional and qualified translators to produce such translations, for conversion and posting where desired.

Hope this helps in the successful design of your multilanguage solution.


Stephen H. Franke
English Arabic,
Kurdish and Persian
San Pedro, California

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English to Lithuanian
henry Nov 18, 2006

Hi Henry,thanks for your communication.Yes its a tricky business getting translations from sessions to the computer screen.Im very lucky to have an understanding patron in the getty foundation and, have to discuss what they want from the project at some stage in the future.Thank you for your ideas henry,kind regards,patrick buckley.

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Ken Cox  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:21
German to English
+ ...
agree with Henry Nov 18, 2006

First, working with voice input from a stage performance (if this is what is meant by 'from stage to computer screen') is a hopeless dream at present. The state of the art with voice recognition requires a quiet background and training to a single, well-articulated voice.

Second, the most you could probably expect with 'live' translation would be paraphrasing, and even that would be difficult given the totally unpredictable nature of the source text. MT is also likely to cause confusion, irritation, and/or general hilarity among the members of the audience. Song lyrics are a form of poetry, which is one of the most difficult genres to translate.

[Edited at 2006-11-18 15:19]

[Edited at 2006-11-18 15:23]

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English to Lithuanian
Anon Nov 21, 2006

Shalom, thank you henry and friends for advice with respect to software translation.Some of the musicians might want to join the project anonymously eg:plug in an electric guitar without anybody knowing who they are.Any suggestions for software?kind regards,patrick buckley.

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