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Spanish speakers?

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Spanish speakers?

Post by greg parker on Tue 11 Feb 2014, 9:07 am

Some random passages from Part One of the manuscript (which deals exclusively with Colombia) followed by the Microsoft translation into Spanish. I need to get some idea of how good the translation is. If anyone can help -- fantastic!

---------------------------------------
It was the biggest strike in Colombian history,  and the conservative government of President Miguel Abadia Mendez was under enormous pressure from the US Consulate to "end the strike by whatever means were available." Failure to take action, it was warned, would result in the arrival of war ships to ensure the protection of Americans and American interests.  

Fue la mayor huelga en la historia colombiana y el gobierno conservador del presidente Miguel Abadia Mendez estaba bajo una enorme presión en el Consulado de Estados Unidos a "fin de la huelga por todos los medios estaban disponibles". Omisión de actuar, fue advertido, daría lugar a la llegada de barcos de guerra para garantizar la protección de los americanos y americano los intereses.
----------------------------------------

Platinum, a material essential to the manufacture of electrical systems in planes, was what Germany wanted most as it entered further and further into war preparation. It was also a rare commodity, with Colombia being Germany’s main pre-war source and now the only producer the Axis nation could look to at all for supply.  Fortunately for Germany, smuggling natural resources out of Colombia was traditionally not all that difficult.

Platino, un material esencial para la fabricación de sistemas eléctricos en planos, era lo que Alemania quería más como él entró más y más en preparación de la guerra. Fue también un muy escaso, con Colombia siendo la fuente principal de antes de la guerra de Alemania y el único productor de la nación eje podría mirar en absoluto para el suministro.  Afortunadamente para Alemania, contrabando de recursos naturales de Colombia tradicionalmente no era tan difícil. 

------------------------------------------

New markets and trade agreements were the key public talking points, but there was another agenda that had been the subject of discussion at a Latin American Intelligence Conference held in the Canal Zone from January 13 to 17, 1947. This was attended by all embassy attachés, War Department representatives and observers, and committee members from various other government agencies and departments (including the CIG). 

Acuerdos comerciales y nuevos mercados fueron los puntos claves públicos, pero hubo otro programa que había sido objeto de discusión en una conferencia de inteligencia de América Latina celebrada en la zona del Canal del 13 al 17 de enero de 1947. Éste contó con todos agregados de la Embajada, representantes del Departamento de guerra y observadores y miembros del Comité de varios otros organismos gubernamentales y departamentos (incluyendo la CIG).

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

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Re: Spanish speakers?

Post by dwdunn(akaDan) on Thu 13 Feb 2014, 8:01 am

Greg, I've had minimal exposure to Spanish, mostly from recent contact with Latino workers at my job; but going thru this word by word (in the original Spanish & the translation to anglaise) it looks fine and reads well auf Englisch. I guess one positive is that Spanish is so widespread and current now in the US that computer or internet translations should be fairly reliable. (As opposed to other languages where certain words might have various meanings & you'd have to choose the english word that most accurately fits the meaning) I would assume there might be very minor disagreements, like the start of the last paragraph "should" read as "trade agreements and new markets" (acuerdos comerciales y nuevos mercados) instead of "new markets and trade agreements"; but that would be inconsequential as to the meaning. I would expect Albert might be a better judge tho, given his academic area and probably exposure to a good deal of Latin. FWIW

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Re: Spanish speakers?

Post by greg parker on Thu 13 Feb 2014, 9:13 am

dwdunn(akaDan) wrote:Greg, I've had minimal exposure to Spanish, mostly from recent contact with Latino workers at my job; but going thru this word by word (in the original Spanish & the translation to anglaise) it looks fine and reads well auf Englisch. I guess one positive is that Spanish is so widespread and current now in the US that computer or internet translations should be fairly reliable. (As opposed to other languages where certain words might have various meanings & you'd have to choose the english word that most accurately fits the meaning) I would assume there might be very minor disagreements, like the start of the last paragraph "should" read as "trade agreements and new markets" (acuerdos comerciales y nuevos mercados) instead of "new markets and trade agreements"; but that would be inconsequential as to the meaning. I would expect Albert might be a better judge tho, given his academic area and probably exposure to a good deal of Latin. FWIW
Thanks Dan,

Just to clarify though... the original is the English -- taken from my manuscript.

Part one of volume one deals exclusively with Colombia from early 1900's and the annexing of Panama through to the assassination of Gorge Gaitan in 1948. It is a greatly expanded version of my online piece about the Gaitan hit with the addition of all the added background and context. Occasionally I get an email from various individuals in Colombia (mostly US expats) about it, and it occurred to me that Part One could be translated into Spanish and sold separately for that market.

Problem is that translation services are astronomically priced. Even if not perfect, so long as it didn't lose meaning, I thought I may be able to get by with this microsoft online translation.

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

greg parker
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Re: Spanish speakers?

Post by dwdunn(akaDan) on Thu 13 Feb 2014, 10:51 am

Laughing derrrrr Never mind.
[img][/img]

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Re: Spanish speakers?

Post by greg parker on Thu 13 Feb 2014, 5:05 pm

dwdunn(akaDan) wrote:Laughing derrrrr Never mind.
" />
In other news, Youth in Asia are conserving natural racehorses.

So never mind the never mind. This is good.

If you thought the Spanish was translated into English, I'd assume the Spanish is pretty good.

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

greg parker
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Re: Spanish speakers?

Post by Albert Rossi on Fri 14 Feb 2014, 6:45 am

Greg, sorry I've been remiss here ... I have not been well the past few days and am just now getting back on my feet.

I do not know Spanish, unfortunately, and even though I do know other Romance languages and Latin, there are always subtleties which may escape.  Let me take a look at this when I get home.  Offhand, it looks like this is botched, for instance:

to "end the strike by whatever means were available." :: a "fin de la huelga por todos los medios estaban disponibles".

pressure to end -- is an infinitival complement.  The machine thought this was a simple preposition (to [the] end), it seems to me.  Should that not be an infinitive finir?  And that may not be the best way to express 'end' in this case.  For instance, in Italian, one would prefer something like "porre fine a" [put an end to], or at least "terminar" (like French terminer).

Not to mention that estaban, if it belongs there, probably needs the subjunctive.

Anyway, if I can I'll take a closer look later this evening.

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Re: Spanish speakers?

Post by greg parker on Fri 14 Feb 2014, 9:13 am

Albert Rossi wrote:Greg, sorry I've been remiss here ... I have not been well the past few days and am just now getting back on my feet.

I do not know Spanish, unfortunately, and even though I do know other Romance languages and Latin, there are always subtleties which may escape.  Let me take a look at this when I get home.  Offhand, it looks like this is botched, for instance:

to "end the strike by whatever means were available." :: a "fin de la huelga por todos los medios estaban disponibles".

pressure to end -- is an infinitival complement.  The machine thought this was a simple preposition (to [the] end), it seems to me.  Should that not be an infinitive finir?  And that may not be the best way to express 'end' in this case.  For instance, in Italian, one would prefer something like "porre fine a" [put an end to], or at least "terminar" (like French terminer).

Not to mention that estaban, if it belongs there, probably needs the subjunctive.

Anyway, if I can I'll take a closer look later this evening.
Thanks Albert,

by the sound of it so far, it's not terrible by any means, but maybe not really good enough to publish either.

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

greg parker
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Re: Spanish speakers?

Post by Albert Rossi on Fri 14 Feb 2014, 11:31 am

OK, so remember that I really am operating by deduction/induction over the Romance languages I know.  You really need to have a native speaker check these all out. Notwithstanding, I shall offer some observations which you are free to take as you wish.

'::' means I suggest changing what's on the left to what's on the right.

First paragraph:

a "fin de la huelga por todos los medios estaban disponibles" :: para "poner fin a la huelga por todos los medios disponibles"

y americano los intereses.  ::  y los intereses americanos
----------------------------------------

Second paragraph (this is the most problematic one, I think):

en planos  :: en aeroplanos -- I believe 'planos' means mathematical/geometrical planes

como él entró más y más :: cuándo él entró más y más  -- 'as' here is temporal, and if Spanish is like Italian, using 'como' here would sound very colloquial

en preparación de la guerra ::  en preparación para la guerra [?]

Fue también un muy escaso  :: Fue también un bien muy escaso -- "commodity" [bien] is missing here (did the computer commit scribal homoioteleuton??)

con Colombia siendo la fuente principal :: siendo Colombia la fuente principal -- the absolute with 'with' explicitly expressed does not sound kosher to me; I give here the structure as it would occur in Italian

de antes de la guerra de Alemania :: para Alemania (durante el periodo) de antes de la guerra -- three 'de's in a row are awkward, and at any rate, the prepositional complement into which the possessive 'Germany's' must be transformed is too far separated from the noun it modifies, 'source' 

y el único productor :: y ahora el único productor -- missing the equivalent of 'now' in the original

de la nación eje  :: a quien la nación del Eje  -- needs a relative pronoun, not a preposition [see the following]

podría mirar en absoluto para el suministro :: podría en absoluto recurrir para el suministro -- 'mirar' would be like 'look to the future'; and in any case, the relative pronoun was missing (because, of course, it is implicit in English ...); I cannot tell whether "suministro" is the correct word here or not.

contrabando de recursos naturales -- I have a feeling that despite lexically equating the gerund 'smuggling' with the noun 'contrabando', our program did not realize the positional need for an article from context.  I would render this "el contrabando de recursos naturales"
----------------------------------------

Third passage:

This is the least problematic.  I take it "celebrar una conferencia" is idiomatic.  Also, "Éste contó con todos" -- surprising how our program, which has made so many other typical syntactic and lexical blunders, found this periphrasis; I can only assume it is correct.

I think Doug Hofstadter is still right on the money.  A very good measure of how close we have come to automating intelligence is translation.  We've got a long way to go, it seems to me, at least when translating more than a phrase is at stake.

I hope this helps a bit, Greg.  Feel free to ignore it, for as I said, I've never studied nor spoken a word of modern Spanish (though I have studied a few medieval Spanish texts, with grammar and dictionary in hand; but that was long ago).

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Re: Spanish speakers?

Post by greg parker on Fri 14 Feb 2014, 11:46 am

Albert Rossi wrote:OK, so remember that I really am operating by deduction/induction over the Romance languages I know.  You really need to have a native speaker check these all out. Notwithstanding, I shall offer some observations which you are free to take as you wish.

'::' means I suggest changing what's on the left to what's on the right.

First paragraph:

a "fin de la huelga por todos los medios estaban disponibles" :: para "poner fin a la huelga por todos los medios disponibles"

y americano los intereses.  ::  y los intereses americanos
----------------------------------------

Second paragraph (this is the most problematic one, I think):

en planos  :: en aeroplanos -- I believe 'planos' means mathematical/geometrical planes

como él entró más y más :: cuándo él entró más y más  -- 'as' here is temporal, and if Spanish is like Italian, using 'como' here would sound very colloquial

en preparación de la guerra ::  en preparación para la guerra [?]

Fue también un muy escaso  :: Fue también un bien muy escaso -- "commodity" [bien] is missing here (did the computer commit scribal homoioteleuton??)

con Colombia siendo la fuente principal :: siendo Colombia la fuente principal -- the absolute with 'with' explicitly expressed does not sound kosher to me; I give here the structure as it would occur in Italian

de antes de la guerra de Alemania :: para Alemania (durante el periodo) de antes de la guerra -- three 'de's in a row are awkward, and at any rate, the prepositional complement into which the possessive 'Germany's' must be transformed is too far separated from the noun it modifies, 'source' 

y el único productor :: y ahora el único productor -- missing the equivalent of 'now' in the original

de la nación eje  :: a quien la nación del Eje  -- needs a relative pronoun, not a preposition [see the following]

podría mirar en absoluto para el suministro :: podría en absoluto recurrir para el suministro -- 'mirar' would be like 'look to the future'; and in any case, the relative pronoun was missing (because, of course, it is implicit in English ...); I cannot tell whether "suministro" is the correct word here or not.

contrabando de recursos naturales -- I have a feeling that despite lexically equating the gerund 'smuggling' with the noun 'contrabando', our program did not realize the positional need for an article from context.  I would render this "el contrabando de recursos naturales"
----------------------------------------

Third passage:

This is the least problematic.  I take it "celebrar una conferencia" is idiomatic.  Also, "Éste contó con todos" -- surprising how our program, which has made so many other typical syntactic and lexical blunders, found this periphrasis; I can only assume it is correct.

I think Doug Hofstadter is still right on the money.  A very good measure of how close we have come to automating intelligence is translation.  We've got a long way to go, it seems to me, at least when translating more than a phrase is at stake.

I hope this helps a bit, Greg.  Feel free to ignore it, for as I said, I've never studied nor spoken a word of modern Spanish (though I have studied a few medieval Spanish texts, with grammar and dictionary in hand; but that was long ago).
Albert,

you are simply an amazing individual. One of the reasons I used the microsoft translator was because of claims that it was approaching an "intelligent" system. That said, there was a warning against using it for very large jobs (i.e. books).

Okay. This gets put on the backburner until I can get a human translator to do it.

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

greg parker
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Re: Spanish speakers?

Post by Albert Rossi on Sat 15 Feb 2014, 5:33 am

greg parker wrote:
Albert Rossi wrote:OK, so remember that I really am operating by deduction/induction over the Romance languages I know.  You really need to have a native speaker check these all out. Notwithstanding, I shall offer some observations which you are free to take as you wish.

'::' means I suggest changing what's on the left to what's on the right.

First paragraph:

a "fin de la huelga por todos los medios estaban disponibles" :: para "poner fin a la huelga por todos los medios disponibles"

y americano los intereses.  ::  y los intereses americanos
----------------------------------------

Second paragraph (this is the most problematic one, I think):

en planos  :: en aeroplanos -- I believe 'planos' means mathematical/geometrical planes

como él entró más y más :: cuándo él entró más y más  -- 'as' here is temporal, and if Spanish is like Italian, using 'como' here would sound very colloquial

en preparación de la guerra ::  en preparación para la guerra [?]

Fue también un muy escaso  :: Fue también un bien muy escaso -- "commodity" [bien] is missing here (did the computer commit scribal homoioteleuton??)

con Colombia siendo la fuente principal :: siendo Colombia la fuente principal -- the absolute with 'with' explicitly expressed does not sound kosher to me; I give here the structure as it would occur in Italian

de antes de la guerra de Alemania :: para Alemania (durante el periodo) de antes de la guerra -- three 'de's in a row are awkward, and at any rate, the prepositional complement into which the possessive 'Germany's' must be transformed is too far separated from the noun it modifies, 'source' 

y el único productor :: y ahora el único productor -- missing the equivalent of 'now' in the original

de la nación eje  :: a quien la nación del Eje  -- needs a relative pronoun, not a preposition [see the following]

podría mirar en absoluto para el suministro :: podría en absoluto recurrir para el suministro -- 'mirar' would be like 'look to the future'; and in any case, the relative pronoun was missing (because, of course, it is implicit in English ...); I cannot tell whether "suministro" is the correct word here or not.

contrabando de recursos naturales -- I have a feeling that despite lexically equating the gerund 'smuggling' with the noun 'contrabando', our program did not realize the positional need for an article from context.  I would render this "el contrabando de recursos naturales"
----------------------------------------

Third passage:

This is the least problematic.  I take it "celebrar una conferencia" is idiomatic.  Also, "Éste contó con todos" -- surprising how our program, which has made so many other typical syntactic and lexical blunders, found this periphrasis; I can only assume it is correct.

I think Doug Hofstadter is still right on the money.  A very good measure of how close we have come to automating intelligence is translation.  We've got a long way to go, it seems to me, at least when translating more than a phrase is at stake.

I hope this helps a bit, Greg.  Feel free to ignore it, for as I said, I've never studied nor spoken a word of modern Spanish (though I have studied a few medieval Spanish texts, with grammar and dictionary in hand; but that was long ago).
Albert,

you are simply an amazing individual.

Greg, I'm not writing a 3-part book which will put this case in an entirely new light.  That is something amazing, in my view.

One of the reasons I used the microsoft translator was because of claims that it was approaching an "intelligent" system. That said, there was a warning against using it for very large jobs (i.e. books).

Okay. This gets put on the backburner until I can get a human translator to do it.

I know it's costly, but I personally would not want to publish anything done using AI.  Language programs have made amazing strides over the past 10 years, but they are still a long way from being able to do what you are expecting them to (let alone translate poetry or fiction).  This is not to diminish the marvel of a program capable of doing what it does.  But they still remind me of the Monty Python phrase-book at times ("I would like to fondle your buttocks").   Laughing 

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