Monthly Archives: March 2017

Disambiguation of fourfold ambiguous French ‘pygmée’

Translation in the ‘sartinesa’ variant of the Corsican language. Scoring 1 – (1/110) = 99.09%.

Let us focus on the disambiguation of fourfold ambiguous French ‘pygmée’. A rare case of ambiguity between masculine/feminine singular. It can consist of:

  • masculine singular noun: translates into pigmeu (Pygmy)
  • feminine singular noun: translates into pigmea (Pygmy)
  • masculine singular adjective: translates into pigmeu (pygmy)
  • feminine singular adjective: translates into pigmea (pygmy)

French to English: first experimental test

Now testing the translation from French to English. A lot of grammatical errors (a rough 75%). To mention but a few of them:

  • adjective + noun inversion: localities Alsatian should read: Alsatian localities
  • date format inversion: 4 March should read: March 4

The good news is that some ambiguous words translate properly: French ‘est’ (east/is) translates accurately into is; French ‘mort’ (death/dead) translates properly into dead. The disambiguation from French to Corsican has trasferred successfully to English, regarding these two words.

French ‘fin’ followed by a year number: fixed

Tagger improvement: fixed this issue. French ‘l’Empire allemand’ now translates properly into l’Imperu alimanu (the German Empire). French word ‘fin’ is now identified as a preposition when followed by a year number.

The above excerpt is translated into the ‘sartinesu’ variant of Corsican language.

This issue relates to the more general problem of the grammatical status of numbers, a problem to which we shall return later.

French ‘fin’ followed by a year number

There is one informative error here: ‘a agité l’Empire allemand fin 1913’ (agitated the German Empire at the end of 1913) should translate into chì hà agitatu l’Imperu alimanu à a fini di u 1913. The translation error (l’Imperu alimana instead of l’Imperu alimanu) is due to the fact that the adjective alimana (feminine singular, German) accords erroneously with the feminine word fini (end). French ‘fin’ is short here for ‘à la fin de’. This casts light on the fact that French ‘fin’ is considered erroneously a feminine noun, whereas it is in reality a preposition which means ‘à la fin de’ (at the end of). The same goes when ‘fin’ is followed by a word denoting  a month: ‘fin august’, ‘fin janvier’ (at the end of august, at the end of january). This applies both to Corsican and English.

Object of the verb ‘to exist’

French ‘il existe 29 parcs nationaux’ (there are 29 national parks) translates into Corsican: esistenu 29 parchi naziunali. When the verb ‘to exist’ is used and its object is plural, a plural form of the verb is required in Corsican language.  The same goes for English, although the case is somewhat different, the translation switching here to the verb ‘to be’.

One error. Scoring 1 – (1/105) = 99.04%.

Is it a successful Feigenbaum hit? Certainly, since this kind of error is not a gross one. Undoubtedly, it can be considered as a type of error a human could do.

Translation of preposition ‘à’ followed by noun phrase denoting a location

‘au stade de Wembley’ (at the Wembley Stadium) should translate in u stadiu di Wembley.

We face the issue of the translation of preposition ‘à’ since ‘au’ is short for ‘à le’ (to the), in particular when ‘à’ is followed by a noun phrase denoting a location. This occurs in the disambiguation of French ‘à’ which can can either translate into à (to) or into in (in).