3 October 2013

Google Translate

Languages, Part 4

Google Translate

Google translate will translate text from and to the following languages:

These languages are 71 in number, and they include only one indigenous African language: Swahili.

The advent of free, online, automatic translation services is a great boon and a help to people a lot of the time. In a continent where hundreds of languages are spoken, it opens the prospect of people being able to communicate much better than before across language barriers, if they have written text.

But none of this is possible if only one African language is available.

The absence of indigenous African languages works in an opposite way. It means, at this stage, that the selected languages are even more privileged than before. The playing field, up to now, is not more, but less even.

Machine translation

Computer translation is a great assistance, but it is not perfect. Computer translation has to be corrected, because it always contains errors, and serious errors at that.

Computer translation is an assistance, because it quickly gives you a draft to work on.

To correct, you must apply your own knowledge or use an old-fashioned dictionary, or the computer equivalent of an old-fashioned dictionary. Beyond that, too, translation is an art. South Africans have not come to terms with translation, yet. This is not only true in terms of the eleven languages and other languages spoken in South Africa, but also in terms of international languages.

This becomes at some point a political problem.

·        To download any of the CU courses in PDF files please click here.


Post a Comment

Post a Comment