Is there a linguistics guru in the house?

Where to buy? Where can I find? How do I? Getting started.
Post Reply
harryc
Posts: 1112
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:09 pm
Location: Espoo-Helsinki

Is there a linguistics guru in the house?

Post by harryc » Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:53 pm

I do a lot of translating from Finnish to English and occasionally look at 'Google Translate' - it usually turns out to be close to hysterical - and sometimes great jokes.

But I have had the occasion to look at GT for English to Finnish a few times -- as my FI-grammar is hardly excellent.

I've been much surprised to find the results make sense - though I'm not the person to know if there might be some FI errors - but the 'translations' did say what I meant.

Is there some technical reason (linguistically-speaking) why the 'vice-versa' situation should be so different?



Is there a linguistics guru in the house?

Sponsor:

Finland Forum Ad-O-Matic
 

Rosamunda
Posts: 10609
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2004 12:07 am

Re: Is there a linguistics guru in the house?

Post by Rosamunda » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:22 pm

One reason is probably related to the volume of the corpuses. I have no idea how Google Translate works but for sure the translations are based on "chunks" of language rather than individual words (ie it does not function like a normal dictionary). So, the bigger the corpus, the better the chance of getting a good result. I guess there are hundreds, if not thousands, of works of fiction and non-fiction in a vast array of fields that are feeding the English to Finnish corpus. Also scripts/subtitles etc. However, the amount of text that is translated from Finnish into English must be significantly smaller. So, in a nutshell, the corpus is way smaller and therefore less reliable.

There are probably other reasons too but the anomaly that you noticed (and I totally agree with your observation) has to be a corpus issue, IMO.


007
Posts: 620
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 3:01 pm

Re: Is there a linguistics guru in the house?

Post by 007 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:26 am

Wikipedia on google translate's limitations:
Some languages produce better results than others. Google Translate performs well especially when English is the target language and the source language is from the European Union due to the prominence of translated EU parliament notes.
But, according to this article, it's the other way around. From Finnish to English should produce better results.
“Go where you are celebrated – not tolerated."
"Aina, kun opit uuden sanan, opettele samalla sen monikko!"


harryc
Posts: 1112
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:09 pm
Location: Espoo-Helsinki

Re: Is there a linguistics guru in the house?

Post by harryc » Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:53 am

But, according to this article, it's the other way around.
I think you mean this 'post' rather than 'article?' N'est-ce pas?

++
From Finnish to English should produce better results.
I have pumped in something over 1 MILLION Finnish words (serious text - but not legal or medical) to GT - and as I said - the results are often totally LUDICROUS. I do it ias a back-up as once in a blue moon I get a significant assist . That is certainly inefficient but I need to do it varmuuden vuoksi. The consolation is I get some good laughs, too.

My own amateur linguistic experience gives me the idea of Finnish having a totally different syntax-order than English - combined with verb inflections combined with 'interesting' ways of expressing the negative produces the anomaly. 'Decontruction is a more demanding procedure than 'construction.'


Post Reply