Sunday, May 8, 2011

Lost in translation simulation

That I don't write about my parser doesn't mean I don't write it. I just can't be bothered to write both. Most of the time I prefer coding. And I can't say there's a lack of interesting problems. For example, here's a part of the 12th sentence:

по мнению одних дальше следовало 7, по мнению других - 8
In the opinion of some, a 7 went next; but in opinion of others an 8 did

There are many interesting things here. Just look at this nice little ellipsis (the dash before 8)! But what worries me the most is English. Or just my English. I've found that I don't know it enough to understand why the translation looks as it looks and how I'm supposed generate this translation.

Take the articles for example: a 7 went next; an 8 did. Why on earth are the numbers indefinite? Are there many sevens and is it just one of them? I don't get it. But it's all over the translation. Only in the first sentence 7 or 8 are without articles, in every other place they're indefinite.

Then, compare In the opinion of some with in opinion of others. The main difference is the article again. Is the opinion of some more definite than the opinion of the others? Does it just sound better that way? Of course, I've hacked all that, but I'm still uncomfortable.

And, by the way, just if anyone cares, here it is: lots of hacks and some ideas.