English Portuguese and Spanish Localization Common Room
No substantial changes here since Feb 2007
 Welcome to the English Portuguese and Spanish Localization Common Room
This page started as a test example of the item about Localization Common Room idea in the following page.
 Translations needed
 Strings for the Application Program: Test of ability with arithmetic
Readers interested in translating from English to Spanish and Portuguese may like to know of this attempt to produce an application program for the laptop. 2006-05-16 0726Z
Please have such discussions and activity about localizing learning material as you wish.
 Spanish version
- Wikipedia in CD A proposal, where some Wikipedia users are studying how they can create a Wikipedia CD.
- Content from Wikichicos Proposal where users write specifical content for children.
Though these projects do not offer significant content yet, if olpc shows interest and need, surely many Wikipedia users will participate. --Javier Carro 18:20, 19 April 2006 (EDT)
 Example of Colaborative String Translation
The web page of a version of LOGO written in Java provides a web page with the strings of this application, so that people can colaborate and provide translations to its strings here:
Something more sophisticated could be developed for the OLPC project that provides a means to give context to the strings (how the will be used) and to discuss and vote on different possible translations.
 Having a look at automated language translation
The following sequence of sentences, intended to be a poem, is devised to try machine translation on some short sentences. I have an idea of trying to use the technique of writing poems using short sentences as a way to become familiar with various languages.
A year It is winter. It is cold. It is snowing. There is a tree. It is spring. There is a yellow flower. There is a tree. It is summer. There is a red flower. There is a tree. There are many leaves. It is autumn. There is a tree. There are many leaves. It is winter. Is it snowing?
Here is the translation into Spanish produced by Translation Plus version 10.
Un año Es invernal. Está frío. Está nevando. Hay un árbol. Es primaveral. Hay una flor amarilla. Hay un árbol. Es verano. Hay una flor roja. Hay un árbol. Hay muchas hojas. Es otoño. Hay un árbol. Hay muchas hojas. Es invernal. ¿Está nevando?
Translating back to English produced the following.
One year It is winter. It is cold. It is snowing. There is a tree. It is spring. There is a yellow flower. There is a tree. It is summer. There is a red flower. There is a tree. There are many leaves. It is autumn. There is a tree. There are many leaves. It is winter. Is it snowing?
Translating the original English to Portuguese produced the following.
Um ano É inverno. Está frio. Está nevando. Há uma árvore. É primaveral. Há uma flor amarela. Há uma árvore. É verão. Há uma flor vermelha. Há uma árvore. Há muitas folhas. É outono. Há uma árvore. Há muitas folhas. É inverno. Está nevando?
Translating that to English produced the following.
One year It is winter. He/she is cold. It is snowing. There is a tree. It is spring. There is a yellow flower. There is a tree. It is summer. There is a red flower. There is a tree. There is many leaves. It is autumn. There is a tree. There is many leaves. It is winter. Is it snowing?
That is interesting as the choice of he or she followed by "is cold" could be valid depending upon the context, namely that a person is cold rather than the weather. The line "There is many leaves" is clearly wrong.
So is the Portuguese version of the poem correct or does a clear error leap out to someone who knows Portuguese?
The fact that the Spanish translated back well, apart from the title, does not necessarily mean that the Spanish version was correct.
So is the Spanish version of the poem correct or does a clear error leap out to someone who knows Spanish?
Es invernal. should be Es invierno. Es primaveral. should be Es primavera.
Thinking about it, as regards localization, maybe the poem does not transfer well because it relates to English weather, so, even if the translation is correct, maybe it would be out of context for Mexico or Brazil.
- Sure. For example I always have troubles translating college (does it mean university?), pizza party...
- The Es invierno/primavera corrections are right. Context in the case of this 'poem' is not too bad mainly because it makes no reference to latitude-related differences between the hemispheres located higher than the tropics - where the seasons are reversed in the calendar. Tropical seasons are 'usually' defined by wet/dry or by altitude.
I also tried translating the poem into French. I learned some French many years ago so I thought that it might be interesting to try the machine translation. In the event, it produced some interesting effects, so I have included the results here.
Une année C'est hivernal. C'est froid. Il neige. Il y a un arbre. C'est source. Il y a une fleur jaune. Il y a un arbre. C'est été. Il y a une fleur rouge. Il y a un arbre. Il y a beaucoup de feuilles. C'est automne. Il y a un arbre. Il y a beaucoup de feuilles. C'est hivernal. Est-ce qu'il neige?
The translation back into English gives the following.
One year It is wintry. It is cold. It snows. There is a tree. It is source. There is a yellow flower. There is a tree. It is been. There is a red flower. There is a tree. There are a lot of leaves. It is fall. There is a tree. There are a lot of leaves. It is wintry. Does it snow?
The lines "It is source" and "It is been" and "It is fall" are noticeable.
The source seems to arise in the French because the word spring has been taken in the sense of a spring which is the source of a river.
It is been seems to be because the word été is used both for summer and as part of the verb "to be".
The word fall to mean autumn is widely recognized in England, to the extent that it is known as the word that Americans use for autumn, yet it is not widely, if at all, used in England as the word autumn is used.
So, to what extent is machine translation useful for producing content for the laptop? I suspect that it could have its uses as a way of producing a first draft for a human translator to edit whilst he or she is having a look at the original as well so as to ensure that the meaning of the original is preserved. The automated production of the first draft could save a lot of keying of a translated text.
In trying this exercise I have realized that none of the fonts which I have produced could be used to set this poem in Spanish, because none of them have a ¿ character in them. I have thought of adding that character and also the inverted exclamation mark yet am wondering about how they are meant to align vertically in a font in good Spanish typography.
- Spanish also needs: Ñ Á É Í Ó Ú Ü ü
24 March 2006
Cultivo una rosa blanca en junio como en enero para el amigo sincero que me da su ma no franca y para aquel que me arranco el corazon con que vivo, cargo ni oruga cultivo, una rosa blanca
A long time ago (mid '80s), I came around an article published by UNESCO in its "Boletin de Informatica" about using the Aimara language as an intermediate representation for automatic translations given some of its pecularities (which I've forgoten since). By chance, I've just stumbled upon them again, so I'm posting the reference if anybody can dig it up or maybe know what became of the idea.
- La Informatica en la Investigacion Cultural
- El Modelo de Automata traductor 'Atamiri'
- RCII - Red Regional de Cooperacion entre Institucions Vinculadas a la Informatica
- Año 2, Nro. 2, Noviembre 1984
- Año 2, Nro. 3, Diciembre 1984
The author is Prof. Ing. Ivan Guzman de Rojas and the documents refer to a presentation given by him at the Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias in Montevideo, Uruguay in the context of the Escuela Iberoamericana de Informatica between November 7 and December 7, 1983.
On a more current-events track, it would be interesting to contact/see what Google is upto with their new language translators for Arabic and Chinese into and from English, and how could that may be used for other (not so incompatible) languages like Portuguese/Spanish between them and also against English.--Xavi 18:31, 9 December 2006 (EST)