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 TIP #226   This tip was sent on the week: September 13th to September 19th 2009

Tip #226 - There's More to our Story: Disambiguation Part III

Applies to: Text Translator, Professional and Plus Version 5

The English-speaking User might think:  “All this mess about ambiguities and words with different meanings is just a problem Spanish has… we don’t have to worry about that in English!”  

We have heard similar comments from our first-time Users.  However, they eventually realize that they are mistaken.  First, it’s a fact that more than 60% of the English words are polysemic; in other words, they have multiple meanings. 

On top of that, practically all English words have also multiple parts of speech, much more so than in Spanish.  Take “even” for instance.  It is an intransitive verb, a transitive verb, four different types of adjectives, an adverb and a conjunction.  Other words like back, best, behind, close, down, fast, fine, last, light, low, still and many more have at least four different parts of speech, to name a few.           

When Word Magic attempts to translate one of these multiple-meaning, multiple-parts-of-speech words, its first task is to select the correct part of speech and the correct meaning.  Then a most essential function which has been overlooked by all other translation programs in existence to date takes over: it has to let the User know which choice was actually made. This is what True Retranslation™ is all about.

We might have made a wrong interpretation or a correct choice, but neither one serves any purpose if the User is not accurately informed of it, in his or her own native language.  If the program chose “bank” as a noun and not as a verb, plus the meaning “bench”, it is essential that the User be informed about the selection in such a way that all ambiguity is dispelled.  Otherwise, the translation process becomes guesswork and both writer and recipient get involved in a blindfolded word exchange, not in true communication.  

If you have been using other translation software, perhaps you are not familiar with polysemic translation.  Whenever you typed in a sentence like “Vimos un banco” you always got just one single result, for instance “We saw a bench”, and that’s it.  There are no other alternatives offered.  There are no tools available to change the meaning.  Worst of all, the monolingual User does not know what the target reader is actually getting.

On the other hand, when using our software for the first time, you might experience something similar to what someone who lives in a one-dimensional world might (in theory) experience when entering a multi-dimensional world.  It might be confusing at first, but as soon as you adapt to it, you will experience the complexity and beauty of multi-dimensional translation and you will be overpowered by it.  We guarantee it! Download a Free Trial Here.


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