May 06, 2008

Automatic Hinglish

Google Translate now offers translation from English to Hindi and vice versa. Type in some text and check out the results. Chances are you'll get some garbled nonsense, but with computer-generated translation, that's par for the course. What's surprising is that if you translate from English to Hindi and convert the results back to English, some of the original text is restored. Here's a portion of Hamlet's soliloquy in Google Hindi:

' Tis एक consummation
श्रद्धापूर्वक को wish'd. करने के लिए मौत की नींद के लिए.
नींद के स्वप्न को perchance करने के लिए: सॉफ्टवेयर, यही तो कठिनाई है!


That's completely meaningless, of course. But feed this drivel to the Google translator, and it becomes Shakespeare again - with a few improvements.

'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to wish'd. To death for sleep.
To sleep, perchance to dream: software, there's the rub!


Software, there's the rub: truer words have never been spoken. Coming up: Surdas in Hinglish ('Surdas, Braja is very bad now, kahe not let ubare') and Google's take on hip-hop lyrics, which is so polite, you'll never feel the need for a Parental Advisory ('Shake your booty' translates as 'Hilayein apni loot').

4 comments:

Aditya said...

I hope the support improves over time, and this is definietly a challenging task. One of the things I've noticed when doing cyclic translations (translate A->B->A->B....) is that there is a lot of distortion in the meaning even for small phrases, irrespective of the language.
On a side note, a small request - could you offer complete feeds so that the posts can be read directly from a feed reader.

r devraj said...

Sure, it's a challenging task but Google Translates fails with the simplest of sentences, suggesting it's been put together by someone with no knowledge of Hindi grammar. For instance, these translations:

I kicked him
मैं उस से किक
I killed him
मैं उस से मारे गए
He kicked me
उन्होंने मुझ से किक

I tried many more simple sentences and finally got one correct translation with this:

I am going
मैं जा रहा हूं

Make it just a teeny bit more complex, and Google gives up any pretence to meaning.

I am going to the market
मुझे इस बात की जा रही बाजार
I am going to the market to buy fruit
मुझे इस बात की जा रही को खरीदने के लिए बाजार में फल
I am going to the market to buy fruit for my grandmother
मुझे इस बात की जा रही बाजार को खरीदने के लिए फल मेरी दादी

Debashish said...

Good thing is: they want to improve, very few companies work in that direction.

You have almost stopped writing, though whenever you do I get to know through the feed :)

Regards,

Debashish

Rajesh Kumar Sharma said...

thanks for this Hamlet omlate.

rajesh