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

From: Mark Davis ☕ <>
Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2013 22:55:28 +0200


On Apr 20, 2013 8:44 PM, "Erkki I Kolehmainen" <> wrote:

> Mr. Overington,
> I'm sorry to have to admit that I cannot follow at all your train of
> thought on what would be the practical value of localizable sentences in
> any of the forms that you are contemplating. In my mind, they would not
> appear to broaden the understanding between different cultures (and
> languages), quite the contrary. I appreciate the fact that there are
> several respectable members of this community who are far too polite to
> state bluntly what they think of the technical merits of your proposal.
> Sincerely, Erkki I. Kolehmainen
> -----Alkuperäinen viesti-----
> Lähettäjä: []
> Puolesta William_J_G Overington
> Lähetetty: 20. huhtikuuta 2013 12:39
> Vastaanottaja: KenWhistler
> Kopio:; KenWhistler;
> Aihe: Re: Encoding localizable sentences (was: RE: UTC Document Register
> Now Public)
> On Friday 19 April 2013, Whistler, Ken <> wrote:
> > You are aware of Google Translate, for example, right?
> Yes. I use it from time to time, mostly to translate into English: it is
> very helpful.
> > 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.
> I am not a linguist and I know literally almost no German, so I am not
> able to assess the translation quality of sentences. Perhaps someone on
> this list who is a native speaker of German might comment please.
> I am thinking that the fact that I am not a linguist and that I am
> implicitly seeking the precision of mathematics and seeking provenance of a
> translation is perhaps the explanation of why I am thinking that
> localizable sentences is the way forward. There seems to a fundamental
> mismatch deep in human culture of the way that mathematics works precisely
> yet that translation often conveys an impression of meaning that is not
> congruently exact. Perhaps that is a factor in all of this.
> Thank you for your reply and for taking the time to look through the
> simulations and for commenting.
> Having read what you have written and having thought about it for a while
> I am wondering whether it would be a good idea for there to be a list of
> numbered preset sentences that are an international standard and then if
> Google chose to front end Google Translate with precise translations of
> that list of sentences made by professional linguists who are native
> speakers, then there could be a system that can produce a translation that
> is precise for the sentences that are on the list and machine translated
> for everything else.
> Maybe there could then just be two special Unicode characters, one to
> indicate that the number of a preset sentence is to follow and one to
> indicate that the number has finished.
> In that way, text and localizable sentences could still be intermixed in a
> plain text message. For me, the concept of being able to mix text and
> localizable sentences in a plain text message is important. Having two
> special characters of international standard provenance for denoting a
> localizable sentence markup bubble unambiguously in a plain text document
> could provide an exact platform. If a software package that can handle
> automated localization were active then it could replace the sequence with
> the text of the sentence localized into the local language: otherwise the
> open localizable sentence bubble symbol, some digits and the close
> localizable sentence bubble symbol would be displayed.
> If that were the case then there might well not be symbols for the
> sentences, yet the precise conveying of messages as envisaged in the
> simulations would still be achievable.
> Perhaps that is the way forward for some aspects of communication through
> the language barrier.
> Another possibility would be to have just a few localizable sentences with
> symbols as individual characters and to have quite a lot of numbered
> sentences using a localizable sentence markup bubble and then everything
> else by machine translation.
> I shall try to think some more about this.
> > 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.
> Well, they were still staying at the hotel were some time ago.
> They feature in locse027_simulation_five.pdf available from the following
> post.
> They also feature in the following document available from the forum post
> listed below it.
> a_simulation_about_an_idea_that_would_use_qr_codes.pdf
> That idea is not about localizable sentences, yet I found that being able
> to use the continuing characters and the scenario from the previous
> simulations was helpful in the creative writing of that simulation.
> William Overington
> 20 April 2013
Received on Sat Apr 20 2013 - 16:01:52 CDT

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