Encoding localizable sentences (was: RE: UTC Document Register Now Public)

From: Whistler, Ken <ken.whistler_at_sap.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2013 19:22:26 +0000

However, now that I've got your hopes up on procedural grounds...

Getting on to the particulars:

> I do have two particular reasons for asking.
> 2. My research.
> There is a document entitled locse027_four_simulations.pdf available from
> the following forum post.
> http://forum.high-logic.com/viewtopic.php?p=16264#p16264
> I would like to place before the Unicode Technical Committee a document
> that I am drafting that is 3 pages of A4 in length that seeks to make the case
> for expanding the scope of Unicode so that my invention could become
> implemented as I think that encoding such items is probably outside of the
> present scope of Unicode yet I suggest that allowing such encoding could be
> a useful development of Unicode.

I took a look at your scenarios described in that document, and I
really think this is a case where far more appropriate technology is
already widely available.

You are aware of Google Translate, for example, right?

If you input sentences such as those in your scenarios or the other examples,
such as:

Where can I buy a vegetarian meal with no gluten-containing ingredients in it please?

You can get immediately serviceable and understandable translations in dozens
of languages. For example:

Wo kann ich ein vegetarisches Essen ohne Gluten-haltigen Bestandteile davon, bitte?

Not perfect, perhaps, but perfectly comprehensible. And the application will even
do a very decent job of text to speech for you.

Furthermore, this (and myriads of various dedicated apps related to this issue)
are available on anybody's smart phone these days. The quality of the
translation for these kinds of applications has rapidly improved in recent years,
as the approaches to translation have become more comprehensive, data-driven,
and crowd-sourced.

Frankly, we are not all that far from the situation where everybody's phone becomes
the Star Trek universal translator people dreamed about not so long ago -- at least
for these kinds of formulaic, repeated interactions in specified contexts.

At any rate, if Margaret Gattenford and her niece are still stuck at their hotel
and the snow is blocking the railway line, my suggestion would be that Margaret
whip out her mobile phone. And if she doesn't have one, perhaps her niece will
lend hers to Margaret.

As regards any possible case for encoding localizable sentences *as characters*,
in my opinion, the train long ago left the station for that one.

Received on Fri Apr 19 2013 - 14:24:33 CDT

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