Foreigner creates translation app to talk to Cambodians but they just want to talk about his cock

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Re: Foreigner creates translation app to talk to Cambodians but they just want to talk about his cock

Post by xandreu » Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:36 pm

Speaking about things being lost in translation, when I was teaching I was in a parent teacher meeting with my young (12yo) female student and her mother. Her mother didn't speak any English so I had a teaching assistant to help translate.

At one point the mother and TA started laughing and looking at me. When I asked what the mother had said, the TA said "She said you can do whatever you want with her daughter". I nervously laughed and asked her to clarify what she meant. She said "The mother said your free to do whatever you like with her daughter and not to worry about any complaints being made. You have her full consent."

I looked at the mother who widened her eyes at me and nodded smiling, almost as if she wanted to give me a wink-wink.

After they left I asked the TA again what she meant by that, to be told that I was free to do anything I needed in order to control her daughters behavior in class, including giving her a bit of a slap round the head if I felt it necessary.

I would never have hit any of my students, but I was very relieved that this was what she actually meant as opposed to how some, including myself, could have interpreted what she meant.
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Re: Foreigner creates translation app to talk to Cambodians but they just want to talk about his cock

Post by explorer » Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:18 pm

I have posted this before, but it is relevant. This is what can happen when you use Google translate.

I met a family. One of them was a teenage girl. She spoke quite a lot of English, but not 100%. I spoke to them in English, as I like to help people practice English. I think I was the only foreigner this girl had ever spoken to. When she didn't know how to say something, she would ask other family members in Khmer how to say it in English. At one point she asked them how to say: I like you like a father, and I want you to like me like a child. Nobody could figure out how to say it in English, so she got her phone out and typed it into Google translate. Then she showed me the translation in English. The translation said: Ask her to have a baby.
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
explorer
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Re: Foreigner creates translation app to talk to Cambodians but they just want to talk about his cock

Post by explorer » Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:42 pm

If you use Facebook, and go to pages where things are written in Khmer. You can click on 'See translation.' Then after reading the translation, you can click on 'Rate this translation.' You can then click on 'I have a better translation,' and type in a better translation.

I suspect, thousands of people contribute a better translation. By collecting these and using the information given, I believe the translations on Facebook will become better and better over time.

For new translation apps to compete with the likes of Facebook, they need to allow input from users, so they also continue to improve. But then you need an app to sort through the data and update the database.
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
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Kammekor
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Re: Foreigner creates translation app to talk to Cambodians but they just want to talk about his cock

Post by Kammekor » Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:26 pm

hunter8 wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:32 pm
Informal words and slang would be a good application of educational effort. I would love to buy a resource (book, app) similar to “Outrageous Thai: Slang, Curses and Epithets“ but for Khmer with latin transcription by someone who has lived here long enough.
1200 hours of free work, really? For sure the coding part should have taken two orders of magnitude less than that.
If the app is old style, using all kinds of grammar rules instead of AI, I believe the 1.200 hours....
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Brody
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Re: Foreigner creates translation app to talk to Cambodians but they just want to talk about his cock

Post by Brody » Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:44 pm

xandreu wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:36 pm
but I was very relieved that this was what she actually meant as opposed to how some, including myself, could have interpreted what she meant.
Yikes bud, how else could you have interpreted what a mother of a 12 year old daughter sitting in your classroom for a parent teacher conference, was saying?

That's a disturbing mental leap to make.
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Re: Foreigner creates translation app to talk to Cambodians but they just want to talk about his cock

Post by mouytiet » Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:02 pm

goin to the dentist with google translate -

I type - I would like a root canal.

She reads and types - Are yr teeth shaky and thirsty !

I type - I would like the nerve removed and a filling.

She goes bright red and types - Sorry we don't cure this disease here !
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Re: Foreigner creates translation app to talk to Cambodians but they just want to talk about his cock

Post by explorer » Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:43 pm

In languages are often subtle things which people learning the language don't pick up. For example:

How long have you been learning English?

How long since you learnt English?

A lot of people learning English don't pick up the word 'since,' and just hear 'How long you learn English?'

Another one:

How are you?

How old are you?

Cambodians who have learnt some English often get confused between the two.

So a translator needs a database which translates entire sentences, not just words. The database becomes huge.

Then the same words can sometimes mean something different in a different context. For example:

True

Sometimes it could be translated: This is true.

In other cases it could be translated: Is that true?

So it becomes very difficult to make an app which always give a correct translation.
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
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Kammekor
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Re: Foreigner creates translation app to talk to Cambodians but they just want to talk about his cock

Post by Kammekor » Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:46 pm

Modern translation software doesn't use a database. They use AI where millions of examples are fed and the AI uses them to come up with a translation.

Still far from perfect, but better than a database which has no intelligence at all.
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Re: Foreigner creates translation app to talk to Cambodians but they just want to talk about his cock

Post by timmydownawell » Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:47 pm

explorer wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:42 pm
If you use Facebook, and go to pages where things are written in Khmer. You can click on 'See translation.' Then after reading the translation, you can click on 'Rate this translation.' You can then click on 'I have a better translation,' and type in a better translation.
FB's Khmer translation matrix is dog awful, nowhere near as good as Google (which is itself pretty dire). Often it'll go into weird loops, like in an address it'll say something like "house number 14, of the road, of the road, of the road, of the road, of the road". Obviously my Khmer is virtually non existent so I'm not in a position to help fix it. But it needs serious work.
No matter how much it rains, the dirt never washes away.
explorer
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Re: Foreigner creates translation app to talk to Cambodians but they just want to talk about his cock

Post by explorer » Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:51 pm

On Facebook, Cambodians often use abbreviations and Facebook slang. Then there are differences in Facebook slang with different users. I saw one situation where Facebook confused this slang with another language. So the translator not only needs to translate the actual language, but also the slang.

Then you need to allow for people who make typing mistakes. The translator needs to make an intelligent guess as to what they mean.

The advanced apps will go to voice, which is much more complicated.
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
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