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 TIP #227   This tip was sent on the week: September 20th to September 26th 2009

Tip #227 - More on Disambiguation & True Retranslation

Applies to: Text Translator, Professional and Plus Version 5

We have talked a great deal about ambiguity, True Retranslation and the multiplicity of word meanings.  We also mentioned the fact that Word Magic offers you the opportunity of selecting different meanings when using the Interactive Mode.  You will plunge into a world of limitless complexity, but you will not plunge into it barehanded.  Word Magic affords you the required Interactive tools plus the latest existing MT technology: True Retranslation.   

This does not mean that you always have to select a meaning from multiple alternatives.  If you are in a hurry, you can use the Automatic Mode and obtain an automatic, on-the-fly translation.  However, if you want to be more accurate, and be informed as to what your recipient is receiving, we then recommend using the Interactive Mode with the True Retranslation functionality activated. 

Does this mean that you will do all the hard work, all the clicking, and simply let the translator offer you the different alternatives?  No, by all means no!

Our Professional Text Translator is also context-sensitive and will present you with a default translation which –in theory— should be the best one, taken from a selection of thousands of other possibilities.

For starters, let’s take one of those multiple meaning words we listed in our previous Tip: “back”. Let’s use the word randomly, as in the following sentences:

  1. The cars back.

  2. We back.

  3. We are back.

  4. We back the car.

  5. We back his project.

  6. He was pushed back against the door.


First step: Translate these sentences using any of the Free translation applications offered in the Internet.  We got the following results:

  1. Los coches de vuelta ...

  2. Estamos de vuelta.

  3. Estamos de vuelta.

  4. Estamos de nuevo el coche.

  5. Estamos de vuelta de su proyecto.

  6. Fue empujado contra la puerta trasera.

If you are quite fluent in Spanish (and English) you will immediately realize that ONLY ONE of the sentences was translated correctly by the free online application.  However, if you are not that fluent, you are at a complete loss.  What am I saying in Spanish?  Is this what I actually want to say?  The truth is you will never know, unless you receive a reply from your recipient! 

However, if you had the True Retranslation functionality you would know which translations are correct and which are not.

To be continued…

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