What Is It? The Connotative Translator is a software
tool that compares connotative meanings within denotative synonyms across languages to
improve the accuracy of language translation. The Connotation Translator has not
been field-tested because it requires a separate connotative database for each language.
How Would I Use It? You would use the Connotative Translator the
way you would use any language translation software product. This is one of the few
connotative language tools in which you would not know that Connotative
technology was working behind the scenesexcept (in theory) by noticing a marked
improvement in the accuracy of language translation.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION AND IMAGES
In 1947, cyberneticist and
linguist Norbert Wiener wrote the following:
I frankly am afraid the
boundaries of words in different languages are too vague, and the emotional and
international connotations are too extensive to make any quasi-mechanical translation
scheme very hopeful.
technology makes it possible, for the first time ever, to gain systematic access to the
emotional or connotative content of words and phrases in any language.
This technology has very
significant implications for the language translation industry. Machine translation does
not work very well. As author Stevie Cameron remarked in Elm Street (November
2000), "The problem with these automatic translators is their hilarious literal
interpretation. Helmut Kohl becomes Helmut cabbage, for example." Context evaluation
modules in translation software do their best, but still must rely only upon denotative
definitions of words in their databases to evaluate the surrounding text.
Warren Weaver wrote of the search
for a universal interface, or interlingua:
Think, by analogy, of
individuals living in a series of tall closed towers, all erected over a common
foundation. When they try to communicate with one another they shout back and forth, each
from his own closed tower. . . . But when an individual goes down his tower, he finds
himself in a great open basement, common to all the towers. Here he establishes easy and
useful communication with the persons who have also descended from their towers. Thus it
may be true that the way to translate from Chinese to Arabic, or from Russian to
Portuguese, is not to attempt the direct route, shouting from tower to tower. Perhaps the
way is to descend, from each language, down to the common base of human
communicationthe real but as yet undiscovered universal languageand then
re-emerge by whatever route is convenient.
Connotative meaning, "the
common base of human communication," is quantified exactly the same way in any
language using Connotative Intelligence technology.
Context evaluation enhanced with
Connotative Intelligence technology would dramatically reduce contextual errors in language
translation by evaluating statistical data associated with both the
denotative and the connotative meanings of each context of each word. (An
analogy would be Boolean searching. For example, if you type yellow
Volkswagen—the equivalent of yellow AND
Volkswagen into Google, the number of matches is two orders of magnitude
fewer than if you type yellow OR Volkswagen into
Google.) This would automatically eliminate most of the wrong guesses made by
todays context evaluation modules in translation software.
In short, a Connotative Translator
incorporating Connotative Intelligence technology will enable translation software to
pick the closest and best translation by matching both the denotative meaning and the
synonym with the closest connotative meaning.
The importance of language translation is
growing every year, especially with the increasing globalization of English, now the
worlds de facto lingua franca. But quite apart from the obvious applications in
official language translation, there is also the application for the translation needs of
the individual who travels abroad for business or pleasure. Many travelers pack along one
or more translating dictionaries or electronic translation devices. These devices cannot
distinguish connotational differences among denotational synonyms. And yet it is these
very connotational distinctions that spell the difference between saying, or not saying,
something stupid, provocative, or embarrassing, in a language with which one is not
familiar. By matching the emotional connotative profiles among synonyms in the
speakers language with those in the target language, the Connotative Translator
will spare both the speaker and the listener some offense and humiliation, while enabling
more accurate communication of the desired message.
Language translation is
multi-billion-dollar industry. Language translation technology is being
driven by exploding economic globalization. Connotative language translation will
improve the accuracy of language translation by doing something no other language
translation product can do: it will compare both the denotative meanings of synonyms and
their connotative profiles to select the most accurate translation of the writers