What's "Dear Aunt" in Klingon then?
Microsoft's ongoing efforts to top Google have seen it approach the final frontier, with a new service that translates written text from various terrestrial languages into the fictional language of Star Trek's Klingon race. The translator service will also be available from Bing's Windows Phone app. The introduction of the …
You do realise that Leonard, Sheldon, Raj and Howard are not actually people?
Well they're not antelopes, they have 2 arms & legs, 1 head and all the other bits. Now you might be supposing I am referring to some fictional characters perhaps in some American sit-com and I might, but I assure you there are some real people with those names so there again I might not. Leonard Nimoy for one might have some exposure to Klingon and I'm led to believe he's a real person (or at least as real as anybody in Hollywood)
How about they throw some help to many of the endangered languages out there. North America has many of them and that's just a start. I'm sure Hawaiian, Navajo, Arapaho etc would all welcome the assistance. Plus the resources would be actually used rather than briefly screwed around with for a joke then forgotten.
Think about it before you jerk your knee so hard that it snaps.
What was this about? Nerds working at Redmond? I don't think there's any question of that.
Serious attempt to provide a service on paid time? Unlikely.
Proof-of-concept for transliteration engine in a language where you can't offend any native speakers with dodgy translations and/or nerdly hobbyists working unpaid overtime? Highly likely.
Or you could just do something useful. Either way.
Using a genuine language would provide more chance for actually testing it properly, especially given the significantly greater library of works to source it from. If they wanted to offer a service they would find many native speakers would happily assist, just like we already do with google translate.
If you worked in IT, you'd know that about 60% of what we do is cover up so the boss thinks we're being productive. Like learning to sleep with your eyes open. And nodding and saying "Yes" every time they pause in whatever little speech they're making at the time. I for one applaud the softie that was goofing off, got caught out and parlayed the goof into a production project. This guy or girl is a true child of Wally.
I used Bing to translate the sub-heading 'Dujeychugh jagh nIv yItuHQo' to english and got:
If the value of yituhxo, the enemy dujey
I think something may have been lost in the translation because I don't think that will have Google quaking any time soon!
Paris? Maybe she gets it, because I don't.
Traditionally “Hindu-Arabic” is used to describe our numbering system (counting in 10s, using the digits 0 - 9), which was adapted from the Arabic world, in turn adapted from India.
Unless the service translates everything to a numeric code (possibly unicode?), perhaps “Roman” characters, which is used to describe the alphabet we English-speaking mortals generally use, is meant.
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I've successfully used Google translate to migrate legacy domains to new active directory domains on Hotels in China remotely. Multiple times.
Neither side could speak the other sides language.
It worked well.
I don't understand the need for companies to try to do the same as their competitors when they can't do the job better. Maybe if there was a financial reason for people to use a Microsoft product like this then they may have a case.
But Google is free and Microsoft will never make a product as good as Google are giving away. If they did then Microsoft would probably price themselves out of the market.
I understand that the whole Klingon thing is probably a pet project of some engineers, which is fun, but in general it just more wasted time.
I wonder why it is that so many people are laughing at this idea. Developing a new language is an extraordinary feat. It could have an enormous amount of application in encryption - remember how the Navajo language was used in WWII? In addition, creating a language also gives linguistics scholars insights into how ancient languages rose and evolved over time. Yes, a language that evolves from a fictional universe will never have as much day to day value as a language that evolved in the real world - but it's far from a frivolous exercise.
fwiw I wasn't mocking, I just felt it was a great chance wasted. As regards the ww2 codespeakers, bing translating would negate part of the advantage of the code. Admittedly it was hard to crack even if you knew the language but as we saw with Midway, that also isn't a safe bet. Klingon has virtually no use as a cipher because anyone can learn it and there is no kauna (hidden meaning or subtext is probably the closest in English). The beauty of Navajo was that to speak it properly you almost certainly had to speak it from birth, there were a limited number of speakers and even if you captured one they were large useless because they invented and reinvented their own codes anyway. They were absolute legends, true heroes.
Without wanting to get too serious, language is a very important part of a persons cultural identity. People who feel they have lost their cultural identity and have it 'replaced' are often more prone to social issues. Language, art (music and visual) and food all form really important parts of a persons cultural identity and help shape their values. Wales is an amazing example of sustaining a cultural identity, even if it is partially to stick two fingers up at the English, I have the upmost respect for them.
Google actually does a lot to help at risk languages and once it has a large enough volume of vetted translations it includes extra languages. People can contribute to helping this happen. Yes this is done to make them more money, but they have gone a long way to engaging communities and assisting in the process.
What MS did isn't bad, I just think they could have done something very significant, especially given Bill's foundation works on education.
On the other hand, Bing Translate was probably designed by a load of geeks.. I think it's a fair bet that at least one would be able to get hold of an English to Klingon dictionary (or some Klingon text and the associated English translation) relatively easily. That isn't necessarily so with more culturally important languages.
There are recent instances of new languages arising quite spontaneously, when groups of people without a common language find it necessary to communicate. Tok Pisin (Papua New Guinea, "pidgin english") is perhaps the newest. English itself was once such a language, born of mutual incomprehension between Norman French invaders and Anglo-Saxon natives. It's since evolved in a different direction to both parents, most noticeably by progressively jettisoning its formal grammar.
There's also a new sign language, born of deaf children being dumped in orphanages and left to rot (i.e. given no guidance on existing sign or other languages. So they invented one.)
Dog to Human?
Dog: "Arf bark yap yap whine (tail wag) howl".
Army recruiting sergeant: "He wants to enlist. Apparently he's been ordered to die for the Queen"
Human to Cat?
"Oh, apparently pulling the roast chicken off the kitchen table and tucking in wasn't considered a nice thing to do. Won't do that again, then."
It's great that Bing supports Klingon. Now I can talk to all my Klingon friends without having to learn their language. → 'oH Dun tlhIngan ngaq bing. DaH laH jIjatlhpu' Hoch tlhIngan jupwI' Hutlh vay' Holchaj ghoj. →
the Klingon is a Wonderful support bing. Now you can all Klingons speak a friend Without anyone in their Language.