Use your PC to Master Japanese and Chinese
Automatic Machine Translation
Products to translate to and from English, Chinese, and Japanese are under
development by Apropos and other companies, but Chinese and Japanese are much
harder to translate than European languages. The English language and culture
shares common roots with the European languages and cultures, so machine
translation is relatively simple. The radically different sentence structure,
conceptual framework, and cultural assumptions of the Asian languages makes
translation a much more difficult problem. A simple exclamation in English or
Japanese could require a paragraph to explain in the other language, and minor
ambiguities in interpretation yield radically erroneous translations that are
difficult to detect by machine. Until this is sorted out, high quality
translations will continue to require human interaction.
Limited Quality Translations
Limited quality translations into your native language are helpful for
producing a high quality translation, given a reader with some language
experience and the original source text. However, a poor quality translation
sent to a native speaker will generally cause an unfavorable reaction (recall
some of the poor quality human translations you have encountered). After all,
is your reader not important enough for you to get the language right?
Automatic machine translation from and to Asian languages presents the
opportunity to get a message completely wrong, while insulting your
Translation by Template
One way to achieve a high-quality document without knowing the language is to
use a template program, where you select from one of hundreds of English
letters, and fill in the blanks. This is fine if you want to send a letter to
Mr. Tanaka saying that you are going to Tokyo on June 15
and will be staying at the Imperial Hotel. If your communications needs
cannot be accommodated by one template, you will need assistance from someone
who knows the language. A non-native speaker (i.e., language student) is
capable of using Smart Characters to cut and paste appropriate sections from
different templates into a final document.
Machine Aided Translation
Machine aided translation packages provide a practical way to enhance
productivity by speeding up the process of annotating existing documents and
preparing them for further examination by Smart Characters. You load the
annotated text into a Smart Characters document window, annotate and analyze
for understanding, then type your translation in another document window.
Mid-level professional translators can expect a roughly three fold increase in
productivity over using traditional methods, while beginners will achieve much
greater time savings and quality improvement. The optional accessory
ScAnnotate Automatic Annotator(11-
(not included) takes a Japanese or Chinese electronic document and annotates
the words with pronunciations, glosses, and variable word spacing.
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Last Modified: March 23, 1996
Copyright © 1996 Apropos, Inc.