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Poetry translator?

Posted by west_gardener (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 7, 10 at 18:58

I read that Google is developing a poetry translator. I wonder how they will deal with that. I don't know if they know poetry well enough to select the points that needs to be in the program.

I've translated a lot on Google from English to Norwegian and Swedish, and opposite. I've also translated a knitting pattern from Italian to English, I also translate root latin words to English.
I think I know enough about these languages (as narrow as it is) to make an educated judgement, and I don't think Google is very good at translating.

I don't know much of anything about poetry, but I don't think I'd dare to post a translated poem at this time.

Here is a link that might be useful: Poetry Translation


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Poetry translator?

I'm fairly good at translating French poems into English. I have wrote a few poems in French.

One must be careful though, the translations are bias as to the translator's knowledge of the language and the translator's poetic skills.

The best translation of any work I have read is Seamus Heaney's version of Beowulf.


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RE: Poetry translator?

Dorf, I agree with your statement "One must be careful though, the translations are bias as to the translator's knowledge of the language and the translator's poetic skills." I'll add an other caviat, hire a programmer that can understand the poetry and it's fine nuances.
Thanks for the Beowulf reference in your post. I enjoyed reading it.


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RE: Poetry translator?

True story coming up.

I used to sing with our local symphony. One night at a rehersal, ( we were singing in German,) a member started laughing. He had translated the German into English, and it was really terrible. With Poetry, the meter is so important. words don't always have to rhyme, but there has to be a certain "beat" to it or it's just nice words strung together. It is very difficult to get the meaning and the flow of words in a different language.


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RE: Poetry translator?

Just wanted to say the same. Some poetry can be translated, but poems relaying on rhyming - forget about it. I did translate professionaly for a time, but mostly legal matter and some technical manuals.


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RE: Poetry translator?

Lol, I'd luv to the see the job description for the programmers for this project.


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