Best translation software?

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RichardK8
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Best translation software?

Post by RichardK8 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:49 pm

In your opinion, what is the best Japanese->English translation software, online or standalone? Google is crap for Mahjong terminology.

(Please don't comment on how humans are far better translators than softwares. We all know it. This thread is about... SOFTWARE)

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Re: Best translation software?

Post by Ruro » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:03 am

well if you have understand basic japanese then you could try out the Njstar japanese word processor, it has a pretty neat dictionary and a pretty long trial to use it :) The best choice is to just copy and paste the thing you want to read and look up the kanji in the dictionary section. There are only a few of these software for pc which is a shame. I also use my DS for translation but you are better off with an electrical dictionary. Also mahjong terminology is a tricky thing mostly because it was just copy pasted from the chinese version...

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Re: Best translation software?

Post by Barticle » Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:48 pm

I still persevere with Google Translate. In fact I just got this when trying to translate some mahjong info!

"The ranking module for abiding by Kazu Satoru work and singing at the Las habit Oh boo rampant old men are always scary." :lol:

It's difficult enough for a computer to translate standard Japanese but when you throw in technical language that the software hasn't been programmed to recognise... well, you get output like the example above.

It doesn't help that a lot of mahjong terms use characters that have alternate everyday meanings. Google Translate converts 和了 as Kazu Satoru (a name?) instead of "win". 場 (ba) is field not wind-round, 親 (oya) is parent not dealer, 半荘 (hanchan) is semi villa not half-game, etc etc. We need an auto-translator with a bias for MJ jargon... but even if you pick out known terminology the translations are far from ideal.

For text I can't copy and paste (e.g. print media) I use a combination of Kanji Sonomama Rakubiki Jiten for the Nintendo DS (Japanese dictionary with touchscreen kanji input), two paper dictionaries and the excellent http://www.tangorin.com for looking up kanji and words. I can translate most kanji words but still struggle to make sense of sentences with lots of unspaced hiragana between them. :?

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Re: Best translation software?

Post by Ignatius » Fri Jul 09, 2010 2:11 pm

If you use Mozilla Firefox I reccomend to pick the Rikaichan Applet. It uses the info in the dictionary of Jim Breen. When you put your mouse over a word this applet will show you a lot of info. Maybe it´s useful for you.
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Re: Best translation software?

Post by RichardK8 » Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:51 pm

For translating Mahjong related document, up to now, I the most satisfied with Google Translation Toolkit (GTT) and OmegaT. GTT works in Google's cloud and permits collaboration. OmegaT is written in Java, so it is platform independent. Both use Google for the initial automated translation, then you manually correct the translations. You can create a glossary of Mahjong terms (which I haven't done yet).

JEMAP (Google Translate + Wordnet) seems promising, but I never managed to make it work.

So the next step, I think, might be to collectively create a shared Mahjong glossary for GTT. This way, we could all work together. No need to individually redo the same work over and over.

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Re: Best translation software?

Post by zzo38 » Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:44 pm

I just prefer do it manually by searching the words that I don't know in WWWJDIC and in other mahjong information files.

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Re: Best translation software?

Post by RichardK8 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:45 am

zzo38 wrote:I just prefer do it manually by searching the words that I don't know in WWWJDIC and in other mahjong information files.
To test your method, please translate this sentence : 平均順位は偶然性によってどの程度ぱらつくのか1 - 4位を等しい確率て1又る、実力が2.5位(つま りずっと打ち続けた場合、その平均順位が2.5位に限 りなく近づいていく)の打ち子が10試合打ったとす る。

How much time did it take you? Are you confident of your translation?

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Re: Best translation software?

Post by zzo38 » Sun Jul 11, 2010 3:51 am

It takes me a long time, although some things it is possible to figure out by context and if you have known those things from before, but by more practice it can be done more faster. I am not confident in the translation (I do not currently have time). Usually I do this for much shorter words and sentences. Computer translation software is not perfect either, but it is faster. The best way is to practise!

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Re: Best translation software?

Post by RichardK8 » Sun Jul 11, 2010 4:38 am

zzo38 wrote:(I do not currently have time). Usually I do this for much shorter words and sentences.
Ok. Too burdensome and/or you aren't really able to translate full sentences just by searching in WWWJDIC. However, thank you for trying and for your honest answer. At least, I know I am not the only one finding this task overwhelmingly hard. (^_^)

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Re: Best translation software?

Post by Rosti » Sun Jul 11, 2010 10:35 pm

Personally I've found excite.co.jp's translator to be the best. Or at least, I find it superior to Google

http://www.excite.co.jp/world/english/

Not sure if it'll be good for Mahjong terminology, but frankly I think you're fighting a losing battle if you're looking for something like that, given that it's not common Japanese.

And for specific words, I use this site: http://jisho.org/
Cambridge University Riichi Mahjong Society - anyone living in or around Cambridge welcome to attend

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Re: Best translation software?

Post by gemma » Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:58 pm

Hey,

Computer Assisted Translation Tools could help you? Some of them are free or at least free for small documents. If you fed it some sample sentences like the one above in both Japanese and English and then created a termbase of Mahjong terms, you'll find that the tool will be able to suggest something pretty close. Or at least you won't have to keep the grammar and complicated terms all in your head.

To be honest, (and desperately trying to protect my job) I haven't seen a machine translation tool get Japanese -> English really right yet. European languages it can cope with but Japanese and English are still too alien. That said, it's only a matter of time...

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Re: Best translation software?

Post by RichardK8 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:50 pm

Thank you, Gemma.

I am guessing you are a professional translator. And you are telling me, a reliable software for Japanese->English hasn't been invented yet. Damn. $/&?%/ I was hoping there is one...

Would you be willing to participate to a project like this one?

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Re: Best translation software?

Post by gemma » Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:07 pm

Hehe yeah I'd help out as long as we are staying within copyright.

(I loved the days when I was a fansubber and copyright happened to other people ;) )

I'm actually reading a Japanese strategy book at the mo and I was thinking I should summarize some of his theories... Maybe now I've verbalized it, it won't just get lost in my to-do pile. Keep bugging me!

The problem with mahjong translation is there are so many words you won't find in a dictionary at all... Perhaps just starting a glossary of these terms and adding them as we find them would be a useful resource?

Google docs anyone?

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Re: Best translation software?

Post by RichardK8 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:42 pm

gemma wrote:Hehe yeah I'd help out as long as we are staying within copyright.
This is why the project must not be a direct translation, but more a summary of key concepts.
gemma wrote:Perhaps just starting a glossary of these terms and adding them as we find them would be a useful resource?

Google docs anyone?
A serious, well-done glossary is in the works.

Google Docs or... Google Translation Toolkit with TMX files and a shared glossary.

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Re: Best translation software?

Post by Barticle » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:01 am

gemma wrote:I'm actually reading a Japanese strategy book at the mo and I was thinking I should summarize some of his theories... Maybe now I've verbalized it, it won't just get lost in my to-do pile. Keep bugging me!
Hey Gem - or guten Morgen! This sounds really good. (*prod*)

Even a quick "thought for the day" would be cool. Every little 'elps! :)
To be honest, (and desperately trying to protect my job) I haven't seen a machine translation tool get Japanese -> English really right yet.
Well, you would say that. ;) But from personal experience I would definitely agree (see my previous example).
RichardK8 wrote:A serious, well-done glossary is in the works.
As it happens I'm actually pretty close now to completing my own comprehensive English guide to Japanese mahjong rules and terminology presented in the form of an extended glossary. Hope to get version 1.00 finished and published for free download pretty soon (coupla weeks maybe?). You should be able to copy out some extra terms or variant kanji/kana spellings to add to your list.

Bart

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