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Thread: More Star Trek tech becomes reality: Microsoft unveils "universal translator"

  1. #1
    Banned Opty's Avatar
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    More Star Trek tech becomes reality: Microsoft unveils "universal translator"

    Okay, so it's not quite there, yet. But this is still a really cool step forward.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20266427

    Software that can translate spoken English into spoken Chinese almost instantly has been demonstrated by Microsoft.

    The software preserves intonation and cadence so the translated speech still sounds like the original speaker.

    ....

    In the final few minutes of that presentation the words of Mr Rashid were almost instantly turned into Chinese by piping the spoken English through Microsoft's translation system. In addition, the machine-generated version of his words maintained some of his spoken style.

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    Cassandra Diana Hignutt's Avatar
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    That's awesome!

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    Psychopompous AW Moderator RichardGarfinkle's Avatar
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    The acid test will be to see
    How well it translates poetry.
    Sometimes, what people need is to have things asked of them.




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    All Living is Local Don's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardGarfinkle View Post
    The acid test will be to see
    How well it translates poetry.
    If it can't translate political double-talk, legalese and Supreme Court decisions into something the average person can understand, it's not a Universal Translator.
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    ! Kaiser-Kun's Avatar
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    As long as it ain't babelfish...
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  6. #6
    Mental toss flycoon JimmyB27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaiser-Kun View Post
    As long as it ain't babelfish...
    Having a babelfish would be awesome. We could overcome language barriers and disprove the existence of god in one fell swoop.
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    Banned Opty's Avatar
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    I wonder how it would translate, "Shaka, when the walls fell," and "Damok and Jalad at Tanagra."

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    ! Kaiser-Kun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Opty View Post
    I wonder how it would translate, "Shaka, when the walls fell," and "Damok and Jalad at Tanagra."
    Google Translate answers:

    Shaka, cuando los muros cayeron
    and

    Damok y Jalad en Tanagra
    Not bad. It's how I would say it.
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  9. #9
    Banned Opty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaiser-Kun View Post
    Google Translate answers:



    and



    Not bad. It's how I would say it.
    Sigh.

    It was a nerdy Star Trek:TNG joke.

  10. #10
    ! Kaiser-Kun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Opty View Post
    Sigh.

    It was a nerdy Star Trek:TNG joke.
    ...oh my. I was outmemed.

    So that's what it feels like. :O
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  11. #11
    Banned Opty's Avatar
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    It's okay. Tamarian is a tough language.

    But, you had to expect a Star Trek joke in this of all threads!

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    Psychopompous AW Moderator RichardGarfinkle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Opty View Post
    It's okay. Tamarian is a tough language.

    But, you had to expect a Star Trek joke in this of all threads!
    I know more than one linguist who hates the universal translator and loves that episode for exposing it for the sham it is.

    This didn't stop some of them naming a server Tanagra so they could have Jalad@Tanagra.
    Sometimes, what people need is to have things asked of them.




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    And now, back to Plotting! Duncan J Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardGarfinkle View Post
    I know more than one linguist who hates the universal translator and loves that episode for exposing it for the sham it is.

    This didn't stop some of them naming a server Tanagra so they could have Jalad@Tanagra.
    Another steady naming convention is to name a server 'Elvis'. Then, when you ping it, you get back 'Elvis is alive'

    Geeks. Ya gotta love 'em.
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    Vengeful Crystaline Hawk 45C AW Moderator Zoombie's Avatar
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    One thing that I actually really liked about Enterprise was that they had a linguist onboard.

    ...then they had her invent a universal translator in like five minutes and I flipped over my desk in fury and never watched the show again.
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    It's a doggy dog world benbradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaiser-Kun View Post
    As long as it ain't babelfish...
    Are you referring to the early online translator (of course named after the fish in THGTTG) that was a this address?
    http://babelfish.altavista.com

    The link now forwards to this, and I doubt it's the same translator:
    http://www.bing.com/translator/

    That's a shame, as Babelfish was infamous for "computer translations."
    Last edited by benbradley; 11-10-2012 at 01:02 AM.
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    Damok y Jalad en Tanagra
    That actually, to me, reads better than the original.

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    It's a doggy dog world benbradley's Avatar
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    Here's a Ray Kurzweil talk from 2005 (it's long, an hour and 45 minutes, 49MB) with a demonstration of a translating telephone at an hour and two minutes in:
    http://download.fora.tv/rss_media/Lo...3-kurzweil.mp3

    He speaks in English, it translates and speaks in whatever (okay I'm horrible, I don't know what language that is), for a couple of minutes. Then without missing a beat he says a short sentence in a non-English language, then it ("she") detects the language and speaks the sentence in English.

    Immediately before and after this he talks about how computer translations are being developed (by folks at Google as well as elsewhere) nowadays. I won't try to sum it up, but it's fascinating.
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  18. #18
    It's a doggy dog world benbradley's Avatar
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    Are you gonna finish that bacon? Vince524's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoombie View Post
    One thing that I actually really liked about Enterprise was that they had a linguist onboard.

    ...then they had her invent a universal translator in like five minutes and I flipped over my desk in fury and never watched the show again.
    It got worse from there. That's the only Star Trek series that I have not seen each and every episode, multiple times. I gave up after season 3ish?

    To boreingly go where the other shows had already gone before. Just not nearly as well.




  21. #21
    Banned Opty's Avatar
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    I guess this means that Microsoft just retconned the whole series.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardGarfinkle View Post
    The acid test will be to see
    How well it translates poetry.
    Nah. Can it translate Yogi Berra.

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    Comic guy Bartholomew's Avatar
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    This makes me wonder if I'm wasting my time learning Chinese. =|
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    waxing digital artistic Gale Haut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bartholomew View Post
    This makes me wonder if I'm wasting my time learning Chinese. =|
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