[Taxacom] Scientific translation

Nadia Talent nadia.talent at utoronto.ca
Fri Feb 26 07:19:45 CST 2010

On 2010-02-25, at 5:30 , Ingo Michalak wrote:

> ...
> Ingo
> PS: This links to the press release (unfortunately only in German, 
> google translate might help?):
> http://tinyurl.com/yefxfs4

A comment on Ingo's suggestion about google translate: I was talking recently to a specialist in computational linguistics who told me something that I didn't realize: google translate is an entirely statistical translation system that uses nothing but "canned phrases" from its huge database of text that has been translated by humans.

This means that if we want it to be able to translate scientific text, we should feed it suggestions whenever we have the time and patience to do so. It's another kind of wiki. It takes a while, perhaps a couple of months, for suggestions to be incorporated. (Some time I plan to play with it again to see if the Germain botanical embryology that I fed it helped much, for example whether it can now reliably produce English "ovule", rather than "seed factory".)

Nadia Talent
Royal Ontario Museum,
Green Plant Herbarium (TRT),
Department of Natural History
100 Queen's Park,
Toronto, M5S 2C6, Canada

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