Re: Re : Re: Universal Translation Language
|From:||Raymond A. Brown <raybrown@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, June 1, 1999, 6:31|
At 3:13 pm -0400 31/5/99, From
>Dans un courrier dat=E9 du 31/05/99 14:27:29 , Ray a =E9crit :
>> Personally, I do not see how machines will manage translation of literatu=re
>> unless they become truly intelligent.
>the chief of the french automatic translation programme i interviewed
>(Maurice Gross) was very sarcastic about the failure of the european
>programme EUROTRA (which cost billions to eurotaxpayers) but quite confiden=t
>that within 30 years the main lexies of french and english will have been
>listed and good translation made possible betwixt both languages. he define=d
>lexies as irreductible concepts expressed either by phonemes such as words,
>compound words ("chair leg"), integrated PoS ("porte-manteau") or even
>"fixed" sentence patterns ("ce n'est pas sans une certaine =E9motion que...==2E"
>or "do you want to come to my place for coffee ?) etc. he told me lexies mu=st
>be reckoned within sentences. so they are computing all sentences of some
>daily newspapers for years and chase the lexies. he estimated the number of
>basic lexies to some 100,000 and expected a similar number in both french a=nd
>english. he told me : "i won't see myself the achievement of that task, but
>you will" (he's 50 or so and i'm 30).
Within 30 years? - he's a bit pessimistic about living to 80. I'm 60 and I
intend to be around to see this :)
Yep - I've no doubt that one day we'll get reasonable automatic translation
between languages like English & French. After all the structures of the
two languages are not too dissimilar and both peoples have to some extent
shared a common western European culture for many centuries.
By this I'm _not_ decrying the effort - far from it - I'm very aware of the
difficulties of automatic translation even when the languages are similar.
But I think the greatest success will come first with translations between
languages like Eng-French &, say, Spanish & French/ Spanish & English.
It will be rather longer, I'm sure, before we achieve the same success in
machine translation between, say, English & Japanese; and I may well not
see that :)
=2E....as for UTL??
>I know that in AI circles the
>> question of whether our present high-speed & very efficient morons will
>> ever achieve anything like real intelligence is the substance of argumen=ts
>> & flames - and quite irrelevant on this list IMHO.
>i feel that artlangers are best able to make an ial because they can write
>poetry. poets know and mix words according to all shades of their complex
>meaning. they instinctively know every meaning of each single word and all
>meanings you can conjure up by pairing them.
You may well be right. But own feeling is that in the forseeable future
IALs are likely to natlangs or natlang-based. I am _not_ saying that I
advocate this, simply that I think is so.
At present, Spanish, French & English (inter alia) all serve as
international auxiliaries in different regions of the world - English
being, at present, the most widely used.
I don't see any inevitability in this continuing for ever. But,
nevertheless, the IAL slot, it seems to me, is likely to filled by natlangs
as it has been throughout history - e.g. Sumerian, Akkadian, Aramaic, Greek
Koine, Latin etc., etc.
PLEASE - I do not need to be told that this was because of military
conquest and/or commericial exploitation and, therefore, "bad". I do not
need to have the virtues of a "neutral" conIAL paraded before me. I know
the arguments *ad nauseam* - auxlangers elsewhere have told me all this in
no uncertain terms.