[Wikimedia-l] Human-assisted machine translation (it was: "The case for supporting open source machine translation")

Fred Bauder fredbaud at fairpoint.net
Wed May 1 12:33:07 UTC 2013

All European languages, with the exception of Basque, are essentially one
language with different vocabulary. MT should generally work, but needs
help as the example shows. The big, and perhaps insurmountable, problem
comes with trying to use it with say, Hopi, which assigns meanings in a
wholly different way.


> Ha, I just met a good example of a text you may hardly translate with MT
> means.
> Look at this text which come from [1]:
> The term "manifold" comes from German Mannigfaltigkeit, by Riemann. In
> Romance languages, this is translated as "variety" – such spaces with a
> differentiable structure are called "analytic varieties", while spaces
> with an algebraic structure are called "algebraic varieties". In
> English, "manifold" refers to spaces with a differentiable or
> topological structure, while "variety" refers to spaces with an
> algebraic structure, as in algebraic varieties.
> This is a good example because cleary in German you obviously won't say
> that Mannigfaltigkeit come from the German Mannigfaltigkeit. Also if you
> translate it to a Romance language like French you won't formulate this
> paragraph in the same way.
> Well, it doesn't add more to what I already said, but it probably give a
> more concrete example of MT limits.
> [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_manifolds_and_varieties
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