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Simultaneous translation by computer is getting closer

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Ambrose Li  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:26
Chinese to English
+ ...
I love that cartoon Jan 4, 2013

which basically says “will international relations get worse if this technology succeeds? Wil the earth be annihilated?”

Other problems aside, I find this paragraph the most amusing:

“One big difficulty when translating conversations is determining who is speaking at any moment. Mr Powell’s system does this not by attempting to recognise voices directly, but rather by running all the speech it hears through two translation engines simultaneously: English to Spanish, and Spanish to English. Since only one of the outputs is likely to make any sense, the system can thus decide who is speaking. That done, it displays the translation in the other person’s goggles.”

This means this technology will not work in places where speakers routinely mix words or even sentences from more than one language.


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Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Yes, I believe that... Jan 4, 2013

... but I don't believe to the existence of "slowly speaking Spanish speakers"!

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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:26
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Closer..... Jan 4, 2013

Simultaneous translation by computer is getting closer, in the same sense in which the earth is getting closer to the sun.

[Edited at 2013-01-04 21:17 GMT]


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felicij  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:26
German to Slovenian
+ ...
And the computer Jan 4, 2013

will be able to recognize accents, dialects and slangs. I haven't yet met a person that speaks perfect literary language...
And what about a stutterer?

Like Tom said, we will not live to see it substitute a real person.


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Miroslav Jeftic  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:26
English to Serbian
+ ...
:) Jan 5, 2013

Let's see first a computer getting the usual, text translation right

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Meta Arkadia
Local time: 18:26
English to Indonesian
+ ...
First things first Jan 6, 2013

Miroslav Jeftic wrote:
Let's see first a computer getting the usual, text translation right

No, I think the approach is right. Spoken language first. Linguistically, written language doesn't count. I even think that "converting" written text to spoken text before the translation followed by the reverse process would yield better results for documents. Can I patent this?

Cheers,

Hans (who strongly believes in MT)


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Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:26
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
I am tired of this story that did not really change in the last 20 years Jan 7, 2013

Let them sort out the small problems first, see:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FFRoYhTJQQ


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Ambrose Li  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:26
Chinese to English
+ ...
First things first Jan 7, 2013

Meta Arkadia wrote:

No, I think the approach is right. Spoken language first. Linguistically, written language doesn't count. I even think that "converting" written text to spoken text before the translation followed by the reverse process would yield better results for documents. Can I patent this?


Why would that be the case? Computationally, spoken speech is much harder than written language, so if we got the harder problem solved, of course the easier problem should be already solved, shouldn’t it?

And spoken speech might not be a problem for German or English, but just imagine the number of homophones you will (not can) run into when you deal with spoken Chinese.


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ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 14:26
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
At the same time, Jan 7, 2013

Chaos by computer is getting closer.

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Nigel Greenwood  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:26
Member (2008)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I'd love to see that... Jan 10, 2013

however, I coincide with some of my colleagues (the majority) in that computer technology cannot recognise all the small -but important- deviations in spoken language that are used by everyone. I mean the use of coined expressions, which do not even exist in dictionaries. I work as a simultaneous/consecutive interpreter for aviation related training courses. I can assure you, that with all the "small" yet significant expressions used in this field, no computer will be able to do the job.

Regards to all,

Nigel.


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Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:26
English to German
+ ...
Love that video, Siegfried. Jan 10, 2013

Thank you so much.
Gudrun


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Kaspars Melkis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:26
English to Latvian
+ ...
no worries Jan 10, 2013

In ironic twist, Twitter uses humans in its "computation engine".

They pay peanuts, but it can work for Twitter as there is nothing critical going on. We are not talking about international commerce or law here.


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Jacek Podkanski  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:26
English to Polish
+ ...
First things first Jan 10, 2013

Meta Arkadia wrote:

Miroslav Jeftic wrote:
Let's see first a computer getting the usual, text translation right

No, I think the approach is right. Spoken language first. Linguistically, written language doesn't count. I even think that "converting" written text to spoken text before the translation followed by the reverse process would yield better results for documents. Can I patent this?

Cheers,

Hans (who strongly believes in MT)


You can't patent this. I have realised it's the only way back in the nineties. I have seen a presentation on Google Tech Talks showing same idea. Translating phonemes instead of text simplifies grammar parsing a lot.


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Meta Arkadia
Local time: 18:26
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Der Kurz Jan 10, 2013

Jacek Podkanski wrote:
I have realised it's the only way back in the nineties.

I got the idea when translating Kurzweil's The Age of Virtual Machines into Dutch in 2000. I mentioned it a couple of times on translator forums, but it was always met strong unbelief. Your response is the first positive one. On the concept, that is.

It's increasingly frustrating to talk about MT with colleagues anyway. Their denial of MT is probably ostrich policy. MT is going to stay, and it will get better. Fast. The only way to survive as a translator is to be a darned good writer. And then you'll still lose.

Cheers,

Hans


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George Hopkins
Local time: 13:26
Swedish to English
Serious problems Jan 11, 2013

Try this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcsMDgfyV6I


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