Link Dump

BasicEnglish (and other langs) translation of JamesJoyce’s Finnegan’s Wake
online translation tools
MacDonald’s’ I’m lovin’ it
Alice in Wonderland in Russia(n) more on gibberish:
Time and the river
Watch out for Accents
lolcats & kitty-pidgin
cat- and mouse-speak
Mr. Maledicta on translating maledicta  gives us:

The Italian saying traduttori, traditori (“translators are traitors”) comes to mind.

a phrasebook of arguable utility
28 languages on a carton of juice
German xlation of Heroes and UnLunDun


Attach:ServerErrorRestaurant.jpg from BoingBoing
Chinese get their revenge -- on German Physicists!


automatic translation of completely alien languages ?!???


Wikipedia:Mojibake - incorrect, unreadable characters on a computer screen (or printout)



Bling Translations -- phonetic approximations of poems in languages not understood by the translator (see also: Ezra Pound, translations from the Chinese) - auto-translation back-n-forth from English to Japanese. Not particuarly _useful_ for dedicated translations.


automatic translation of ancient, indecipherable texts ???
MIT News: automatic translation of ancient languages (like Ugaritic)


To duplicate the “intuition” that Robinson believed would elude computers, the researchers’ software makes several assumptions. The first is that the language being deciphered is closely related to some other language: In the case of Ugaritic, the researchers chose Hebrew. The next is that there’s a systematic way to map the alphabet of one language on to the alphabet of the other, and that correlated symbols will occur with similar frequencies in the two languages.

The system makes a similar assumption at the level of the word: The languages should have at least some cognates, or words with shared roots, like main and mano in French and Spanish, or homme and hombre. And finally, the system assumes a similar mapping for parts of words. A word like “overloading,” for instance, has both a prefix — “over” — and a suffix — “ing.” The system would anticipate that other words in the language will feature the prefix “over” or the suffix “ing” or both, and that a cognate of “overloading” in another language — say, “surchargeant” in French — would have a similar three-part structure.


The system plays these different levels of correspondence off of each other. It might begin, for instance, with a few competing hypotheses for alphabetical mappings, based entirely on symbol frequency — mapping symbols that occur frequently in one language onto those that occur frequently in the other. Using a type of probabilistic modeling common in artificial-intelligence research, it would then determine which of those mappings seems to have identified a set of consistent suffixes and prefixes. On that basis, it could look for correspondences at the level of the word, and those, in turn, could help it refine its alphabetical mapping. “We iterate through the data hundreds of times, thousands of times,” says Snyder, “and each time, our guesses have higher probability, because we’re actually coming closer to a solution where we get more consistency.” Finally, the system arrives at a point where altering its mappings no longer improves consistency



Notes in Transition

Is Translation a Transition? Or is the transition that space between the two (hoped-for) legibilities?


translation [Lat.,=carrying across], the rendering of a text into another language. Applied to literature, the term connotes the art of recomposing a work in another language without losing its original flavor, or of finding an analogous substitute, for example, Scott Moncrieff’s Remembrance of Things Past for Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu, which, translated literally, means “Looking for Lost Time.” Translations of the most ancient texts extant into modern languages are called decipherments. Two well-known examples are the decoding of the Egyptian hieroglyphs on the Rosetta Stone (see under Rosetta) by Jean François Champollion and the decoding of the Persian cuneiform inscriptions on the rock of Behistun by Henry Rawlinson. Translating sacred texts has always been the chief means by which a culture transmits its values to posterity. Important translations of the Bible began with the Vulgate (Hebrew and Greek into Latin) of St. Jerome in the 4th cent. A.D. English translations of the Bible include that of John Wyclif in the 14th cent. (from Latin), William Tyndale’s in the 16th cent. (from Hebrew and Greek), and the great Authorized Version of 1611, the King James Version, which has been called the most influential work of translation in any language. The Renaissance was a golden age of translations, especially into English. Renewed interest in the Latin classics created a demand for renderings of Ovid’s Metamorphoses (tr. by Arthur Golding, 1565–67), Vergil’s Aeneid (tr. by Gawin Douglas, c.1515; Henry Howard, earl of Surrey, c.1540; and Richard Stanyhurst, 1582), and Plutarch’s Lives (tr. by Sir Thomas North, 1579). The flavor of these renderings is indicated in the opening lines of Stanyhurst’s Aeneid: “Now manhood and garbroyles [battles] I chaunt, and martial horror.” In addition there were translations of important contemporary works into English: Castiglione’s Courtier (tr. by Sir Thomas Hoby, 1561), Montaigne’s Essais (tr. by John Florio, 1603), and Cervantes’s Don Quixote (tr. by John Shelton, 1612). Notable translations of the 19th and 20th cent. include Baudelaire’s translations of the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Scott Moncrieff’s translation of Proust, and Eustache Morel’s translation of James Joyce. American authors whose works have been translated into several European languages include Mark Twain, Jack London, Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Pearl Buck, Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind), and Upton Sinclair, who set a record with translations into 47 languages.


The Bible (or one of them)

“A good translator has to understand not just the original language, but also one’s own into which these texts are being put,” Galeone said. Despite assurances to the contrary, he said, the new texts are “slavish” with respect to the Latin originals.


Linguistic Ghetto

The “linguistic ghetto” argument against government-sponsored bilingualism goes back at least a few decades. The earliest relevant citation I’ve found actually relates to bilingual policies in Canada, not the US. The Dec. 28, 1969 New York Times quotes conservative leader Robert L. Stanfield warning of the “linguistic ghettos” that would be created by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s language policy. Stanfield was specifically complaining about plans for French-only military units. Trudeau responded, “Certainly, it would be a false description to call these units ghettos.”


Machine-Aided Trouble


see also: - auto-sends text through several rounds of machine-translation and back to something approximating English, maybe.


Ezra Pound

Ezra Pound in turn suggested that before one write poetry, one should translate a lot of it, so as to internalize “the greats” as well as get through the learning stages without perpetually having to reinvent the wheel. One could see how Sappho or Dante or Lorca handled a particular writing problem so that, decades later, one might come to a problematic line-break (or whatever) with some sense that it had a history, that the decision one made carried with it more than the tactical need to get to the next line. The process also had two salutary side-effects: it got a lot of great work back into print in one’s own tongue in a contemporary way, and it tended to marginalize monolinguals among the wannabes, who after all were likely to be riff-raff. --Ron Silliman


See Also


This is a list



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  test guy   - 07.09.2008 - 18:59    
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