Monthly Archives: February 2017

Accordance of past participe

Now scoring 1 – 2/129 = 98.44%.

  • The issue of past participe’s accordance again: ‘une session du parlement tenue à Nuremberg’ (a session of the Parliament held in Nuremberg) should translate into una sessione di u parlamentu tenuta in Nuremberg. Past participe tenuta should accord with sessione (feminine, session) and not with parlamentu (masculine, Parliament). This could need dependency parsing, but it could be insufficient. Perhaps (harder) semantic disambiguation is required in this case.
  • One false positive: ‘des’, being a Deutsch word, should remain untranslated.

Past participe or present simple: the disambiguation of French ‘construit’

In the present case, it should read, custruitu à u seculu XII (built in the 12th century). The error relates to the disambiguation of French ‘construit’. It can translate into:

  • custruitu (built): past participe, masculine, singular
  • custruisce (builds): present simple, third person

MT should (i) find the proper reference of ‘construit’, i.e. ‘clocher’ (church tower), but above all (ii) whether  ‘construit’ is a past participe or a present simple. Some kind of dependency parser is in order…

Can translation help teaching an endangered language?

Can translation help self-teaching and endangered language? It seems yes, it the translation is accurate. Let us check with the verb parlà (to speak). In this case, the translation is 100% accurate, so it can help (but we need to check other verb categories and other tenses). Other verbs of the same group are verbs that end with : manghjà (to eat), saltà (to jump), cantà (to sing), etc.

To begin with: conjugations, present simple:

  • je parle (I speak), tu parles (you speak), il/elle parle (he/she speaks),
    nous parlons (we speak), vous parlez (you speak), ils/elles parlent (they speak)
  • je parlais (I was speaking), tu parlais (you were speaking), il/elle parlait (he/she was speaking),
    nous parlions (we were speaking), vous parliez (you were speaking), ils/elles parlaient (they were speaking)
  • je parlerai (I will speak), tu parleras (you will speak), il/elle parlera (he/she will speak), nous parlerons (we will speak), vous parlerez (you will speak), ils/elles parleront (they will speak).

Of interest:

  • French ‘parle’ is ambiguous since it can translate into parlu (I speak) or parla (he/she speaks).
  • French ‘parlais’ is ambiguous since it can translate into parlavu (I was speaking) or parlavi (you were speaking).

Language self-reference again

Language self-reference is not as uncommon as one could think at first glance. In the above excerpt, we find another of that issue of ‘language self-reference’ (or ‘target language shift’). French ‘le surnom d’« Old Reliable » (en français, « le Vieux Fiable »).’ should translate into Corsican: ‘u sopranome d'” Old Reliable “ (in corsu, ” u Vechju Affidevule “; in English: The nickname of “Old Reliable”.

Hence, a machine translator should include a feature that handles properly this ‘language self-reference’ issue. In conclusion: to implement: this target language shift feature.