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ECH1969 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:07 PM
Original message
U.S. forces in Iraq to test IBM translation device
The U.S. military may soon be able to communicate better with Iraqis in their own language, thanks to technology developed by IBM that quickly translates spoken English into Iraqi Arabic.

The technology could help the military overcome a major hurdle in Iraq, which is the inability of most troops to speak Arabic beyond basic phrases, and a shortage of interpreters, International Business Machines Corp. and military officials said.

IBM of Armonk, New York, has long been developing speech recognition and translation technology for potential uses in commercial, consumer and military applications.

The technology being deployed in Iraq, called multilingual automatic speech-to-speech translator, or Mastor, has been in development since 2001, said David Nahamoo, chief technology officer for human language technologies at IBM's research business.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/tech/20061011-2101-t...
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tk2kewl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
1. My immediate reaction to this:


From "Mars Attacks"

The martians running around with the translator device on a truck with large megaphones saying "Don't run! We are your friends!"
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Megahurtz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. AAAK - AAAAK!!! n/t
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tk2kewl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Iraq... Iraq!
:shrug:
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 06:49 AM
Response to Reply #4
15. "All your Base Are, belong to US"
LOL
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DavidDvorkin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
3. My wife used to be a professional translator
And still does it occasionally. She knows a lot of people in the business. That kind of software has always been an object of derision to them, but their customers always pant for it.

The results of machine translation are bizarre and comical, except in the simplest situations -- small vocabularies, simple syntax, repeated constructions. That doesn't apply to a restricted type of written document, and even in those cases, the results usually have to be gone over by humans. It certainly doesn't apply to human speech, especially in stressful or complicated settings.

By the way, the pros distinguish between translating, which applies to written language, and interpreting, which refers to speech. No one outside the biz seems to know or care about that usage, though.
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ECH1969 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. The technology is getting alot better
And, will continue to improve.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 04:41 AM
Response to Reply #5
14. But it STILL doesn't work.
:evilgrin:
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DRoseDARs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
6. I guess the Army won't need all the Arabic-speaking "faggots" anymore...
Oh, wait. They had already been fired soon after 9/11, despite the desperate and clear need for MORE translators of Arabic. :eyes:

I have to wonder: If the software was programmed by gays, would the Army reject that too? Those dastardly gays might have hidden secret code in the software that will make the English speakers sound like they're coming onto whoever they're trying to speak to.
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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:29 PM
Response to Original message
7. IBM commercial, circa 1985: "Write a letter to Misses Wright, right now"
for their imaginary speech recognition software. Considering they still don't have that software, this MASTOR (acronym doesn't match btw) software is at least 21 years away.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:34 PM
Response to Original message
8. Dog-to-English translator from a Far Side comic comes to mind
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 03:38 PM by slackmaster
The barking of dogs always translates to "Hey!".

Also the Firesign Theatre bit in which an American is cautioned to avoid certain phrases while in Barbaria.

"Our expression 'Diet cola' is indistinguishable from their words for 'Dual to the death'."

"Welcoming to Barbaria, my infidel friends. Ooh, what is this peeking out from under your underwear...it's a bottle of whiskey on my head. The whiskey head tax here in Barbaria is 1060 karooms or I could challenge you to a 'diet cola'"
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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
9. 'We come in peace. Do not run away.'
Blam, blam, boom.

A la "Mars Attacks."
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jilln Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 04:10 PM
Response to Original message
10. Is there any reason to think that this software is any better than online
translators, which people have been working on for years? Did IBM suddenly stumble on the secret?

Does it take into account cultural considerations? Does it know slang?

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BadgerKid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
11. Does waterboarding translate as one or several words? j/k n/t
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 05:38 PM by BadgerKid
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Sabriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:42 PM
Response to Original message
12. Here's what Google Translator can do for you:
"We come in peace. Where are the flowers you have for us? Hey, those aren't flowers! Those are bombs!"

نأتي بالسلام. اين الزهور ديكم بالنسبة لنا؟ يا هذه
الزهور لا! هذه القنابل.
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truthisfreedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 03:06 AM
Response to Original message
13. a babelfish called "MASTOR"??? sounds ominous. why name it something
so suggestive?
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 07:46 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. ?
... because they're a bunch of baiters ...?
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 01:40 AM
Response to Original message
17. Let's machine-translate a text from English to Japanese and then back
several times, using (say) http://babelfish.altavista.com /

The U.S. military may soon be able to communicate better with Iraqis in their own language, thanks to technology developed by IBM that quickly translates spoken English into Iraqi Arabic. The technology could help the military overcome a major hurdle in Iraq, which is the inability of most troops to speak Arabic beyond basic phrases, and a shortage of interpreters, International Business Machines Corp. and military officials said. IBM of Armonk, New York, has long been developing speech recognition and translation technology for potential uses in commercial, consumer and military applications. The technology being deployed in Iraq, called multilingual automatic speech-to-speech translator, or Mastor, has been in development since 2001, said David Nahamoo, chief technology officer for human language technologies at IBM's research business.

米国の軍隊は彼らの自身の言語のイラク人、イラクのアラビア語にすぐに話されていた英語を翻訳するIBM が開発する技術のおかげでとよりよく伝達し合えるすぐにかもしれない。技術は軍隊が基本的な句を越えるアラビア語を話すほとんどの軍隊の無力であると通訳、International 的なBusiness Machines Corp. および軍当局者の不足は言ったイラクの主要なハードルを克服するのを助けることができ。Armonk のIBM 、ニューヨークは、長くコマーシャル、消費者およびずっと軍の適用の潜在性の使用のための音声認識そして翻訳技術を開発している。多言語の自動スピーチにスピーチの訳者と、かMastor 呼ばれる配置される技術はイラクで2001 年以来の開発に、言った、デイヴィッドNahamoo をIBM の研究ビジネスの人間の言語技術のための主な技術の役人あった。

Them the Iraqi person of itself language, the American troop to transmit well with favor of the technology which IBM which translates English which spoke to the Iraqi Arabic directly develops, perhaps directly. As for technology when most troops which speak the Arabic where the troop exceeds basic phrase it is helpless as for insufficiency of interpretation, International Business Machines Corp. and the military officials person it to be possible to help the fact that the principal hurdle of Iraq which was said is overcome. IBM of Armonk, New York, commercial, the consumer and directly develops speech recognition for using the latent characteristic of application of the troop and translation technology long. As for the technology which the translator of speech, Mastor is called in automatic speech of multi languages and is arranged you called to the development ever since 2001, in Iraq, デイヴィッド Nahamoo the public official of main technology for language technology of the human of the research business of IBM it was.

それらそれ自身のイラク人言語、技術の多分直接好意イラクのアラビア語へのスポークが直接開発する英語を翻訳するIBM よく送信するアメリカの軍隊、と。技術に関しては軍隊が基本的な句を超過するアラビア語を話すほとんどの軍隊が事実を助けて可能であるためにそれ解釈、International 的なBusiness Machines Corp. および軍当局者人の不十分に関しては困っているそれというとき前述だったイラクの主なハードルは克服される。Armonk のIBM 、ニューヨークのコマーシャル、消費者は直接軍隊及び翻訳技術の適用の潜伏特徴を長く使用する為の音声認識を開発し。スピーチ、Mastor の訳者が言語の自動スピーチで多呼ばれ、整理される技術に関してはイラク、??? をで2001 年以来開発に呼んだ、Nahamoo IBM の研究ビジネスの人間の言語技術のための主要な技術の公務員それはあった。

That itself Iraqi human language of those, IBM which translates English which perhaps technology the spoke to favorable Iraqi Arabic develops directly directly the American troop which is transmitted well, with. Most troops which speak the Arabic where the troop exceeds basic phrase in regard to technology helping fact, because it is possible in regard to the insufficiency of that interpretation, International Business Machines Corp. and the military officials person person when calling that it has been troubled the main hurdle of Iraq which is earlier description is overcome. IBM of Armonk, the New York commercial, the consumer develops the speech recognition in order directly to use the concealment feature of application of the troop and translation technology long. In regard to the technology where the translator of speech and Mastor the multi is called in automatic speech of language, is rearranged Iraq? ? ? With it called in development ever since 2001, it was government employee that of principal technology for language technology of the human of the research business of Nahamoo IBM.


There ya go! An obvious boon in any warzone ...
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fedsron2us Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
18. As Douglas Adams pointed out
Babelfish translation had one unfortunate side effect

by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, it caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.
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htuttle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
19. "My hovercraft is full of eels"
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billyoc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
20. No, I'm not SHOPPING for weapons,
I said "Drop the weapon!", oh fuck it(BANG!)
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