Re: natural language translation (was Re: How factual are second-hand translations?)

From: Spike Jones (
Date: Wed Jan 09 2002 - 23:11:25 MST

Jacques Du Pasquier wrote:

> I learned programming with a computational linguist, and I had
> occasion to get an idea of the field.
> ...The (somewhat intuitive) conclusion I got from it is that to build an
> adequate general-purpose translator, you need to build and AI that
> actually understands the text ... Jacques
> Dossy wrote (9.1.2002/09:14) :
> >
> > Things like Ebonics and other dialects of language show us
> > exactly how impossible natural language translation is, unless
> > we build a generic "system" that can learn languages.

Im afraid my scheme for phrase-lookup will not work. A coworker
showed me this quote, demonstrating that we cannot even agree on the
meaning of a common phrase:

"One reason the military services have trouble operating jointly is that
they don't speak the same language. For example, if you told Navy
personnel to 'secure the building,' they would turn off the lights and
lock the doors. The Army would occupy the building so no one
could enter. The Marines would assault the building, capture it, and
defend it with suppressive fire and close combat. The Air Force, on
the other hand, would take out a three-year lease with an option
to buy."


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Nov 01 2002 - 13:37:33 MST