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 TIP #234   This tip was sent on the week: November 8th to November 14th 2009

Tip #234 - More on Disambiguation & True Retranslation

Applies to: Text Translator, Professional and Plus Version 5

You probably will be asking yourself why we have dedicated so much thought to the issue of retranslation.  You will understand the great importance of this after reading this tip and the following ones.

Let us explain.

Retranslation is meant to dispel the ambiguity of words, in linguistics this is called "disambiguation".  Language is a very, very ambiguous way of communication.  It is only due to our brain's amazing capacity to somehow "sense" the context and implied meaning of words that we are able to understand at all what others are trying to say.

Good dictionaries use something similar to retranslation to identify each individual meaning on multiple-meaning words.  They are called "descriptive synonyms".  Dictionaries also recur to examples of usage, quotes, and even complete definitions.

Our own Word Magic Professional Dictionary & Tools contains all these elements, plus a few more, like "usage keywords", grammatical hints, inflections (for Spanish words) and even color pictures.  Besides that, each entry has its own grammatical classification (noun, adjective, transitive verb, intransitive verb, prepositional phrase, etc) and even a type of information which is exclusive to our dictionaries, which we call "noun substance".  Only Word Magic Dictionary Professional affords this information about nouns; it states whether they are physical, abstract, proper nouns, animate, animal, or group.  This characteristic is extremely important to our Text Translator; it uses it to be able to produce context-sensitive translations. No other text translator in the industry takes advantage of the concept of "substance", simply perhaps because no other dictionary includes this information.

Note: If you want to add all these extra features to your Word Magic Dictionary,  you may purchase the Add-ons Package.  Download Free Trial here.

What we are saying here is that, for the first time ever in the history of Machine Translation, Word Magic has managed to transport the whole concept of disambiguation, an essential characteristic of all good dictionaries, into a Text Translation application.  In other words, Word Magic’s Text Translator has built-in disambiguation, same as a good word dictionary has synonyms, definitions, pictures, tag-words and other linguistic elements used for the sole purpose of disambiguation. The importance of this milestone is yet to be duly appreciated in the near future, when communications and sensitive, accurate translation through the Internet become as widespread as the air we breathe.


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