Inputting Chinese on a Western PC (?)
Thread poster: Luis José Quirindongo

Luis José Quirindongo  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 02:08
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jan 1, 2004

Hello to everyone. A client asked me to figure out how to do this but I have no idea how to do it!

I need to enable a Western PC to work with a machine translator that translates into Chinese, Japanese or Korean. Basically what the client wants is that when you push the machine translator's button in MS Word that translates into Chinese, the machine will actually translate into Chinese. So far nothing is happening.

The PC has Office XP (US version), and Windows XP. The machine translator is Transtar (at the moment, we will probably substitute it if we can't get it to work).

I've heard that you need a special IME (not Microsoft's) to do this, and that files need to be saved as Unicode. I have not figured out how to do any of that. Any help?

Please describe the process with details if you've done it before.


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Denyce Seow  Identity Verified
Singapore
Local time: 14:08
Member (2004)
Chinese to English
My experience Jan 2, 2004

Hi Luis,

I am also a Windows XP (English vesion) user and recently I tried out a similar "machine translator". I didn't encounter any problem with it. By the way, are you able to do normal Chinese input???

Have you heard of Nanjing Star? I use it for my Chinese text input and it consists of Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Korean and Japanese languages. Check out this website: www.njstar.com. Here are some quick info:

**************************************
A powerful software which enables normal Windows applications to read and write Chinese, Japanese and Korean (CJK) language text.

Functions:
Read and write CJK characters in web browser, instant messenger email and Microsoft Office;
Internet search with Chinese, Japanese or Korean keywords;
Powerful CJK "Universal Code Convertor";
Sending CJK email message in GIF picture format!
***************************************

You can download the free trial.

On a side note:
Actually..... I do not encourage you to use "machine translator". The translations you get are really terrible!!! I tried out one a few days ago and in the end, I threw the software in the wastebin because it was simply CRAP!!!! Maybe you would like to advise your client on this..... if not, his business (or whatever) would "suffer" with the bad translations.

I hope I am not too late in answering your question. Good luck to you and if you need more clarification, please feel free to shoot!!

Cheers,
Denyce


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Luis José Quirindongo  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 02:08
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Inputting Chinese on a Western PC Jan 3, 2004

Hello denyce,
Thanks for your help! I did try out NJStar and I did get normal Chinese input. However, I think the program's installation is the problem. I confirmed that I am using the Chinese (not international) version, and some of the installed files in this version have Unicode characters that my Windows Explorer does not recognize. The Chinese enabling system does let me name files in Unicode but the amchine's DLL system apparently does not work with them.

I did tell the client what you said. We will only use this as a timesaver now to help us avoid translating ALL the text, since the website is large. But they are now getting human editors to correct it.
In that sense I think I need a machine translator that produces an "editable" translation, so the editors don't have to practically write the whole text again... can you suggest anything?

Specifically, what we're doing (or rather what I was hired to do) is build an automated translation engine that integrates CAT, HTML localization and MT. The client is providing financial support for the application, and we've already implemented it successfully in 6 European languages, producing 1.5 million words a day (which are later edited and imported into a TM). But then they wanted more languages, and Chinese was next on the list. So I will have to use some kind of machine translation... but how accurate is Eng>Chinese machine translation? I have heard figures like 85%, 80%, 90% but I don't know if that is true or not.

Cheers,
Luis


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Denyce Seow  Identity Verified
Singapore
Local time: 14:08
Member (2004)
Chinese to English
Machine translations Jan 3, 2004

Hi Luis,

Personally, I don't really know the accuracy of EN>ZH machine translations but I dare say it is much lower than what you have quoted. That's why the new translation software I bought ended up in the wastebin!! Was a total disappointment!! And it is even supposed to be one of the most renowned translation softwares in China.

I understand that given the kind of translations your client is handling, cost and speed are critical considerations. Therefore, your client definitely has a good reason to turn to machine translations for help. It is a "consolation" to hear that the translations will be edited by humans!!) But *pardon me being straightforward again* sometimes the translations are so bad that the editors ended up translating the whole text.

Sorry... I know this is not your call and I shouldn't be trying to convince you against using "machine translators". As for the technical issues you are battling against right now, I have wrote a friend about it and once he replies, I will let you know. Meanwhile, good luck sorting it out. I know it can be a hair-pulling job!!

Cheers,
Denyce


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Luis José Quirindongo  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 02:08
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Glass half full... Jan 3, 2004

Well, they want the machine translator so there isn't much I can do... but at least I did design some updates for the translation engine to reduce the errors. I am working on features to automatically embed text which is repeated across all webpages (which will be translated by a human translator) in Chinese and also to extract dictionaries from the "not found" words automatically. The editors would edit them and import them into the program to make it a LITTLE better each time. At least this is within my power to do and I would not be blamed if something goes wrong with the machine translations.
Thanks for all the help though!
Luis


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Kevin Yang  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:08
Member (2003)
English to Chinese
+ ...
I do not feel threatened by the 搈achine translation just concerned. Jan 3, 2004

Dear Luis and Denyce,

Thank you for the discussion. I have been entertained by the idea of machine translation for some years. I do not own any software program for doing such job, nor tested any for quality checking, so I am not in a position to give any technical support advices.

I think machine translation is a good wish, almost a fat chance, in particularly the case of translating from English into Chinese, because the Chinese readers are religiously particular in style, choice of characters, sentence structures, and smooth flow of the overall translation, let alone the other layers of writing criteria, such as mood, feeling, tone, etc.

I admire the courage that Luis demonstrated to make such attempt in accommodating the clients request. But there is one serious consequence here that did not get to mention, that is, I would think very negatively about the company and facilitators who would produce such sub-standard Chinese translation due to the economic concerns and put it up for commercial use. I think the people involved have failed to demonstrate their minimum respect to the Chinese readers. I would not read it myself if I come cross such Chinese literature, and I am certain that there are many Chinese readers who would react to it like I would do.

To be honest, I do not feel threatened by the machine translation, just concerned.

Kevin



[Edited at 2004-01-04 07:26]


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Luis José Quirindongo  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 02:08
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Inputting Chinese on a Western PC Jan 4, 2004

Kevin,

FORTUNATELY they don't plan to use it commercially, they will keep it to themselves. Under my agreement with them I get to keep the application under my copyright, and they get to use it without restriction, plus their version is much more customizable than any version suited for commercial (non-programmer) use. But if CJK machine translation is so inexact I would only implement it in languages where I know the results are at least editable. I've tried the app on European languages and I would say they did come out at about 80-90% accuracy, the editors for those languages checked them.
I'm imagining that eventually the Chinese editors will complain about having to fix everything and the client will reconsider. But right now I'm stuck doing what they say... fortunately their implementation of the app doesn't have my name anywhere so I hope I won't get a bad reputation for this.

Cheers!
Luis


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isahuang
Local time: 02:08
English to Chinese
+ ...
Machine translation is not applicable to E-C translation Jan 11, 2004

Luis Jose Quirindongo wrote:

Kevin,

FORTUNATELY they don't plan to use it commercially, they will keep it to themselves. Under my agreement with them I get to keep the application under my copyright, and they get to use it without restriction, plus their version is much more customizable than any version suited for commercial (non-programmer) use. But if CJK machine translation is so inexact I would only implement it in languages where I know the results are at least editable. I've tried the app on European languages and I would say they did come out at about 80-90% accuracy, the editors for those languages checked them.
I'm imagining that eventually the Chinese editors will complain about having to fix everything and the client will reconsider. But right now I'm stuck doing what they say... fortunately their implementation of the app doesn't have my name anywhere so I hope I won't get a bad reputation for this.

Cheers!
Luis


Nowadays, the computer is doing more and more work for us, and people get more and more lazy and greedy. We wish that all the work could be done by macine. Unfortunately, that is only a wishful thinking when it comes to machine translation from English to Chinese. I saw some E-C translation done by machine translation software. It's crap as Denyce said. I believe machine translation software works among European languages. However, don't forget English and Chinese are two completely different language in terms of almost every aspect. The grammar, the sentence structure, the writing stitle, just to name a few here, are so different that it is beyond what the translation software can do. Probably machine translation from Japanese to Chinese is more reliable.

[Edited at 2004-01-11 19:00]

[Edited at 2004-01-11 19:01]


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chica nueva
Local time: 19:08
Chinese to English
Completely different? Jan 11, 2004

However, don't forget English and Chinese are two completely different language in terms of almost every aspect. The grammar, the sentence structure, the writing stitle, just to name a few here, are so different that it is beyond what the translation software can do. Probably machine translation from Japanese to Chinese is more reliable.


Personally, I don't think English and Chinese are as different as you suggest.As a Chinese to English translator, and in terms of the texts I deal with, I find them quite close, in terms of 'grammar', word order and sentence structure. The style is sometimes a little different, but that is to be expected, and is not beyond the English reader to handle. English and Latin would be more different. And I suggest, from what little I know of Japanese,there are significant differences between Japanese and Chinese, perhaps more than between Chinese and English. Just my opinion. Others may disagree...(I would like to see Chinese demystified - there are a lot of misconceptions in both East and West on this topic - but that's probably a topic for another thread)


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isahuang
Local time: 02:08
English to Chinese
+ ...
I am not talking about the difference Jan 12, 2004

lai'an wrote:

Personally, I don't think English and Chinese are as different as you suggest.As a Chinese to English translator, and in terms of the texts I deal with, I find them quite close, in terms of 'grammar', word order and sentence structure. The style is sometimes a little different, but that is to be expected, and is not beyond the English reader to handle.


I am not talking about the difference between E and C seen from a translator's perspective. I am sure a professional translator can handle it, but not the translation software. And I didn't really mean that software works better for Japanese-Chinese translation. I heard a lot about the significant difference between these two oriental languages. I didn't say the difference between English and Chinese is beyond what English reader can handle, instead I mean beyond the translation software's ability. I am concerned about the quality of the translation work done by software. Apparently those softwares are quite efficient for european languages according to users' feedback, but so far I haven't learned any positive comment on E-C translation software.


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xxxchance
French to Chinese
+ ...
Let抯 say nothing is impossible with the progress, but it does need time and very, very hard work. Jan 12, 2004

As far as I know, MT between English and French is not so evident either. And the subject has been discussed and re-discussed many times in French forum.Personally, I tried some on-line translation for this pair of languages, but the result is beyond hope.

MT can be dangerous for business, corporation, reputation, and safety while CAT is helpful for repetition translation.

Be honest, I dont think Todays MT can do the job correctly.

忠 言 逆 耳
Loyal advice sounds unpleasant ?

[Edited at 2004-01-12 11:53]


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xxxchance
French to Chinese
+ ...
I just want to add that all the progresses need some pioneers. Jan 15, 2004

Bon courage, Luis!

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