Translation 60. A Brief Update on the continuing Gap in Machine Translation Quality between Google and Microsoft BING. Hindi to English. September 2017

Posted 9 September 2017 by Brian Steel
Categories: Hindi Language

Tags: , , , , ,

Based on 2 very short extracts from http://www.jansatta.com/national/attack-on-shiv-senas-modi-government-in-gauri-lankesh-murder-case/425725/

Extract 1:

shiv senaa ne aaj bhaajapaa ke netritv vaalee keNdra sarkaar par karnaaTak kee patrakaar gauree laNkesh kee hatyaa ke saNbaNdh meN taanaa maarte hue kahaa hai ki vah jaannaa chaahtee hai kaheeN is desh meN ek nishchit vichaaradhaaraa vaale logoN ke khilaaph bolne vaale logoN ko chup karaane ke lie ek gupt sisTam to naheeN chal rahaa hai.

1. Google Translate

“The Shiv Sena today taunted the BJP-led central government about the murder of Karnataka journalist Gauri Lankesh and said that he wants to know whether to silence those who spoke against people with a certain ideology in this country. A secret system is not running.”

2. Microsoft BING

“The Shiv Sena has today said the BJP-led centre on the government to assassinate the murder of Karnataka journalist Gaurī Lankesh, he wants to know that he is nowhere to make a secret system to quiet people who speak against a certain ideology people in this country is running.”
*
Extract 2.
soshal meeDiyaa par log likh rahe haiN ki kisee vichaaradhaaraa ke khilaaph likhne vaalee mahilaa patrakaar kee is tarah se hatyaa loktaNtra kee hatyaa hai.

Google:
People are writing on social media that a woman journalist who writes against any ideology is killing the democracy like this.

Microsoft Bing:

People are writing on social media that murder of a female journalist who is murdered by a ideology is killing democracy.
*
So, although raw Google Translate is still quite clearly ahead of Microsoft BING, the promised improved new Google system does not seem to have been activated. Please bring it on a.s.a.p. And Microsoft, please keep up the worthwhile competition.

[Reference to my previous comparison of Google and Microsoft Hindi to English Translation]
https://briansteel.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/translation-36-free-internet-translation-software-the-contest-between-google-translate-and-microsofts-bing-translator-russian-and-hindi/

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Translation 59. The use of English Loanwords in Narendra Modi’s 70th Independence Anniversary Address

Posted 21 August 2017 by Brian Steel
Categories: Hindi Language

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

 

In February 2016, as part of my ongoing research on Hindi lexicography, I published an e-book and separate blogs about the history of the relationship between English and Hindi in India.

Since then I have continued my study of Hindi media and my already large collection of English loanwords in contemporary Hindi has increased by a further 1,500. At the time I made the point that the list is so long and the constant additions so frequent that important English loanwords should be considered by Hindi lexicographers as relevant additions to be included in future Hindi to English Dictionaries (or Hindi to German / French / Chinese, etc.).

Last week’s official preliminary transcript of the Indian Prime Minister’s 56-minute Hindi Address on the 70th Anniversary of Indian Independence offers fascinating evidence for further consideration of the phenomenon of English loans and also of the current relationship between Hindi and English in India (as well as other major Indian languages and English).

Since his successful years as Chief Minister of the State of Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made excellent use of Information Technology and social media to communicate with his supporters and the general public. His predilection for pithy Hindi slogans and maxims is supplemented by a penchant for examples in English, like his annual international “vaaibraNT gujaraat” Global Summits. During the three years of his current Prime Ministership of India, P.M. Modi has increased his IT contributions and his involvement with social media.

Although P.M. Modi’s choice of Hindi as his main channel of public communication in India is justified by Hindi’s status as official language, it should also be remembered that there are hundreds of millions of Indians who do not speak or understand that language. For these citizens (and also for many Hindi speakers), English, as the de facto lingua franca of India, continues, after 70 years to play an increasingly important role. This is specifically noticeable in central language fields or registers like technology, sciences, administration and education, as well as in the media and the world of advertising. (As I have pointed out in my 2016 studies, and earlier, the basis of most Hindi abbreviations and acronyms is English phonetics: pee em, en Dee Tee vee, aar bee aaee, bee je pee, etc.)

In the Devanagari version of the 6,500 word, 56-minute Address, P.M. Modi includes the following standard English loans in Hindi, adapted, as is usual, to Devanagari script (which is here transliterated into my basic system of roman script for easy keyboard use and reading). Newcomers to the topic cannot fail to notice the extraordinary versatile nature of Hindi phonetics in adapting quite closely to the English sounds.

aspataal, baiNkoN, eyarporT (or earporT), garaNTee, gais griD, iNTarvyoo, kaMpaniyoN, keroseen, kilomeeTar, naurth eesT, ek nayaa iNDiyaa, noTbaNdee, noTis kiyaa, peTrol, phaiktarariyoN, phaurm, rajisTreshan  (rej-?), rel, relve sTeshan, rikaurD, skool, Taiknaulojee, Tan (ton or tonne), TauyleT, Tren, ‘van raiNk – van peNshan’, yoonivarsiTiyoN.

Such borrowings are typical of daily media (and general) usage in India. However, what  really drew my attention to the official published Devanagari version of P.M Modi’s Address was that:

He chooses a larger number of less familiar English words and phrases to refer to concepts which he wishes to emphasise in his political agenda. These consist mainly of technical management terms, new proposals and coinages. As stylistic choices by the author (presumably for highlighting the concepts), these English words replace common Hindi equivalents.

and

Curiously, on P.M. Modi’s website (and possibly on the tele-prompter?), these words are written not in Devanagari but in English letters, often with initial capital letters. This is a departure from the normal procedure for dealing with English loans in Hindi (as part of the language) by printing Devanagari approximations of their pronunciation in Indian English (as shown in the samples given above).

What some observers may conclude is that the inclusion of English terms (rather than Hindi words) in their English script could indicate the author’s special gesture to connect with those many Indians for whom the Devanagari is unintelligible. In other words, to get parts of his political message across in spite of the Hindi “barrier”. And also to benefit from the special status that English enjoys in contemporary Indian life.

*

The terms presented in this way in the Address are as follows, in English alphabetical order. A number of traditional transliterations from Devanagari in my roman system are listed in square brackets. This is how the borrowings would usually be presented in the print media.

99   (pronounced “naaiNTee naain”)

address

Bank Accounts khulate haiN  [baiNk akaauNTs]

banking system [baiNkiNg sisTam]

Cancel kar diyaa [kaiNsal]

cash vaalee arthyavyavasthaa  sp? [kaish]

check-post [chek-posT – recently superseded by the Government’s jee es Tee]

Co-operative Federalism aur ab Competitive Co-operative Federalism [koauparaTiv feDaralizam aur ab kaMpeTiTiv koauparaTiv feDaralizam]

Cyber ho yaa Space ho  [saaibar / spes]

Debates [DibeTs]

Demand aur Technology

Dialysis [Daaiailisis]

Digital [DijiTal]   Also: Digital Currency and Digital Transaction

Double (se bhee zyaadaa!) [Dabal]

Efficiency

expert [eksparT]

Foreign Direct Investment

form [faurm]

formal economy

Gallantry Award

GEM naam kaa Ek porTal banaayaa hai

Good Governance (an old favourite with CM and PM Modi)  [But the transliteration guD gavarnaNs is more usual.]

Governance kee process ko simplify karnaa [proses or prosais  / siMplifaaee] Here, and elsewhere in this list, one notices examples of the very frequent hybrid loanword + karnaa Conjunct Verb structure, endlessly productive, as Professor Rupert Snell has pointed out.

GPS System [jee pee es sisTam]  (Note the English phonetics which dominate the majority of Hindi acronyms and abbreviations. I have a collection of 600.]

GST [jee es Tee]

hamaare desh ke In Uniform meN rahane vaale logoN ne balidaan kee paraakaaShThaa kee hai

income tax return [iNkam Taiks riTarn]

infiltrators

infrastructure

Is prakaara se roll-out honaa [rol-aauT]

IT [aaee Tee]

labour field [lebar feelD]

Labour laws

LED Bulb [leD balb or el ee Dee balb]

Left-Wing Extremism [lefT viNg eksTreemizam]

loan  [lon]

Maternity Leave

nature of job

New India [nyoo iNDiyaa] (used several times to announce the author’s project)

Operation

Prepaid bhugtaan [preepeD] (a hybrid phrase)

uske dvaaraa government procure kar rahee hai

Quit India Movement  [Bhaarat chhoro aaNdolan]

research [risarch]

RuPay Card [kaarD]

shell kaNpaniyaaN

Smart City

Soil Health Card [for farmers]

speed

supply: apnaa maal supply kar saktaa hai, apne product supply kar sakataa hai

supply chain [saplaaee]

Surgical Strike [sarjikal sTraaik. Much used this year in the Indian media.]

surrender kiye

Team India [Teem iNDiyaa]

Technology kee madad se

Technology ko intervene karte huE

Technology meN Ek miracle hai,

to sirph vo projekTee vilaNb naheeN hotaa [elsewhere: projekTaa]

training [TreniNg]

Transparency [TraaNspareNsee]   and transparency laane meN saphalataa milee hai

Transport  and Transportation

har Uniformed Forces, koEE bhee ho, sirph Army, Air Force, Navy naheeN, saare Uniformed Forces

water-way

website launch kar rahee hai

Women Empowerment

maanav working hours

World Class Universities

*

Other references:

The Doordarshan video of the Narendra Modi 70th Anniversary Address on 15 August 2017 is available on You Tube.

On Hindi transliteration.

 

 

Translation 58. Media Ignorance of the Role of Translators and Interpreters. Again.

Posted 24 July 2017 by Brian Steel
Categories: Translation and Interpretation

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Western world is at present mesmerised and traumatised by a constant hourly bombardment of media reports on the antics of a strange US President. This could last 4 years, or more. So be it.

But the latest Sunday Times (London) inclusion of an official Russian interpreter, Anatoli Samochornov (labelled by the journalist as a translator) as another of the growing number of “suspects” in  meetings between Trump people  and “meddling” Russians in 2016 and 2017 is really CRASS. (Josh Glancy, Washington, ‘President’s Red Line for Russia Investigations’, reproduced  in The Australian, 24 July, 2017)

But the truth is so simple. A translator’s paid job is to translate documents, usually in written form. A professional interpreter is paid to interpret (i.e. he or she orally translates) SPEECH by one or more persons.

If that is too difficult for some media operators to understand, try this clearer version.

But distinguish between the two professions and stop blaming interpreters (or real translators) for doing their legitimate job.

 

Translation 57. The Propagation of Hindi. Kaushal Srivastava’s Recent Contribution

Posted 30 June 2017 by Brian Steel
Categories: Hindi Language

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

 

 

Over a number of years since his retirement from a teaching and research career as Professor of Physics in India, UK, USA and Australia, Dr. Kaushal Srivastava has enthusiastically carved out a special niche in contemporary Hindi literature as a writer of bilingual Hindi and English poetry and short stories, with a focus on 21st  century globalisation and multiculturism, with particular reference to India and the Anglosphere.  (Bibliographical details are given at the end of this article.)

His latest volume of poetry (Kavita Saagar. Naye Yug Kee Tasveer) adds a valuable new dimension to his work by showing how the use of a simple roman transliteration system for Hindi’s Devanagari script can expand the readership, and the spread, of the Hindi language (both in northern India and in the enormous Indian diaspora). He is especially interested in the needs of those whose ability to read and write Devanagari is limited. In his praakkathan (Preface) he himself acknowledges a debt to Google Transliteration, just as many others, including myself, acknowledge the boon of Google Translation’s magical instantaneous transliteration of roman script into Devanagari to further our studies.

Dr. Srivastava is in very good company. In a 2016 blog and e-book, I quoted prominent Indian intellectuals Ramchandra Guha and Harish Trivedi on the relevant subject of the decline of full bilingualness in contemporary India.

As a quick reference to Wikipedia’s article on Devanagari Transliteration will show, the various (mainly academic) transliteration systems of Devanagari to roman are effective but much too complex for quick writing or typing (for example in text messages or social media).

The attraction of Srivastava’s simple basic transliteration system is immediately obvious in this new bilingual book of poetry, which should inspire other poets and short story writers to follow his example. It is also to be hoped that Urdu writers will be able to find a similarly simple but effective transliteration system from Urdu Nastaliq script to roman. This would help Hindi speakers to read Urdu more easily and to appreciate how very similar the two languages are.

I would respectfully suggest that, in the revised edition of this work, it would be preferable to give a very short explanation of the transliteration system chosen. In the meantime, since Dr. Srivastava’s  painstaking translations speak for themselves, interested readers should go straight to the roman versions of the poems to see the details. The following short extracts will give a good idea of the usefulness of the system. In the three extracts, readers will notice the vowels aa, ee, and oo, as well as consonants Na, NNa, Ta, Tha, Ra, Sha and Ta. Other symbols used by Srivastava in the book are ii, uu, RRi, Da, Dha, Rha, and Ma. (He also uses capital letters for proper nouns and in titles.)

Note: In my own lexicographical work and especially in the documentation of a few thousand English loanwords in Hindi, I have used all the above, as well as one or two more roman vowel combinations and a few more capital letters (taking advantage of the fact that Devanagari does not use capitals). I intend to reveal my system in a later blog.

Samples from Dr Srivastava’s book

2.14 VarShaa Raanee BaRee Suhaanee

griShmakaal meN tapatee dharatee sookhe baag bageeche

phooloN ke sundar chehroN par paR gae kaale dhabbe,

sooraj kee teekhee garmee ne kiyaa haal behaal

peene ke paanee par bhee aayaa saNkaT kaal,

bheeR bharee saRakeN jaise lagatee haiN khaalee-khaalee

khatma ho rahee tejee se khetoN kee hariyalee.

*

4.8 Teen Akelee LaRakiyaaN  (Verse 7)

agale saptaah ek shaadee samaaroh meN gayaa

vahaaN teen yuvatiyaaN apane puruSh-mitroN ke saath theeN,

preeti-bhoj raNgeen thaa

saboN kee nazar un yuvatiyoN par thee,

ek buzurga pitaa ne un yuvatiyoN se kahaa

‘beTee, paarTee meN akelee mat aayaa karo

samaaj kee dRiShTi kutsit hai.’

2.13 Jalavaayu Parivartan

yah hai Melbourne kaa vistrit praangaNN

jisakaa prakriti karatee hai anupam shriNgaar

isake aabhooShaNN haiN

Dandenong pahaaRiyoN par hariyaalee kee shriNkhalaa

door-door tak phailaa sunahalaa samudra taT

aur chaturdik lahalahaataa vrikshoN kaa vriNd.

jise kaee baar milaa hai

sarvashreShTha vaishvik shahar kaa sammaan

jo hai Australia ke mukuT kaa chamakataa ratna,

yahee hai hamaaraa Melbourne!

[Suggested amendments: melborN, DaNdeenoNg, ausTreliyaa]

Kaushal K. Srivastava’s bilingual poetry:

Kavita DarpaNN, New Delhi,Vani Prakashan, 2013.

English Translations:  Beyond Blue Oceans. One World, One People, Kindle edition, 2013. ISBN-10: 149279970X  

Kavita Kalash (SaaNskritik SaNgam kaa DarpaNN), Kindle edition, 2014. ISBN-10: 1502909855

English Translations and Adaptations: Reflections: Poetry of Composite Culture, Kindle Edition,  Amazon.com, 2014.

Kaushal Kishor Srivastava, Kavita Saagar, Naye Yug kee Tasveer. (In Devanagari and Roman scripts), May, 2017.  [Sea of Poetry, A Picture of the New Age /Era.]  ISBN-13: 978-1544088259. ISBN-10: 1 544088256. Available from Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.in, Amazon.com

 

 

Kaushal Srivastava. Hindi Poetry in Devanagari and Roman Scripts.

Posted 18 June 2017 by Brian Steel
Categories: Hindi Language

Tags: , , , ,

The latest volume of Hindi poetry by Indian-Australian Dr Kaushal Srivastava presents a pioneering new feature which will be highly appreciated by many readers whose command of written Devanagari is limited. This especially includes students of Hindi as a Second Language (HSL), of whom I am one. It also includes many young (and not so young) Indian Hindi speakers.

Details:

Kaushal Kishor Srivastava, Kavitaa Saagar, Naye Yug kee Tasveer.

(In Devanagari and Roman scripts)   ISBN-13: 978-1544088259. ISBN-10: 1 544088256

Available from Amazon.co.uk  and Amazon.in

*

For more background on the Hindi and transliteration questions, please see my 2016 essay.

To be expanded in a forthcoming blog.

 

Did Pres. Donald mean kerfuffle rather than covfefe?

Posted 31 May 2017 by Brian Steel
Categories: English Language, Translation

Tags:

covfefe ?    Maybe kerfuffle, as in fuss, bother, commotion, etc.

Just a thought.

Brian’s Private Tweet service on language and translation

Translation 56. Michel Houellebecq’s Latest Publication

Posted 17 January 2017 by Brian Steel
Categories: Translation and Interpretation

Tags: , ,

Just interviewed on French television (FT2, 20 Heures), a more sympathique-looking and -sounding Michel Houellebecq spoke about his hefty new collection of essays and his current attitude to life and writing, Cahiers de l’Herne. (l’Herne is the publisher.)

Here are some references for his fans.

http://www.editionsdelherne.com/publication/cahier-houellebecq/

“Insaisissable, inclassable, irréductiblement ambigu : Houellebecq, infailliblement, nous échappe. Sauf, peut-être, dans le cas précis d’un Cahier de l’Herne, lieu idéal d’une approche plurielle et du mélange des genres. Nous retraçons ici la trajectoire d’un écrivain singulier en montrant les hésitations, les points de rupture, les multiples « bifurcations » qui contribuent à la construire. En entremêlant les textes rares ou inédits, les essais universitaires, les témoignages de proches, d’écrivains, d’artistes, de musiciens, d’amis ou d’ennemis (et tout l’éventail se situant entre ces deux extrêmes), il voudrait rendre compte de la complexité d’un auteur et d’une oeuvre qui ont pour ambition de sauver une époque – la nôtre – de l’évanouissement.”

http://www.leparisien.fr/flash-actualite-culture/houellebecq-vedette-de-la-rentree-de-janvier-sans-nouveau-roman-17-01-2017-6580452.php

https://blogs.mediapart.fr/jean-jacques-birge/blog/291216/le-nouveau-michel-houellebecq-est-un-cahier-de-lherne

If necessary, you can submit these references to the new improved Google Translate. For example:

“Ungraspable, unclassifiable, irreducibly ambiguous: Houellebecq, infallibly, escapes us. Except, perhaps, in the case of a Cahier de l’Herne, an ideal place for a pluralistic approach and the mixing of genres. We retrace here the trajectory of a singular writer by showing the hesitations, the points of rupture, the multiple “bifurcations” that help to build it. By combining rare or unpublished texts, academic essays, testimonies of relatives, writers, artists, musicians, friends or enemies (and the whole spectrum between these two extremes), Would like to account for the complexity of an author and a work whose ambition is to save an era – ours – from fainting. ”   (GOOGLE TRANSLATE)

Opinions of Houellebecq’s Soumission.