Japanese

NTT DoCoMo prepares Japanese machine translation through Android

Japan is unique in many ways and this is reflected and expressed in its culture and its challenging language.  Japanese is controversially an Altaic language spoken by around 127 million people. Its intrinsic characteristics make it a challenge for machine translation and other forms of translation automation, although Pangeanic, in collaboration with Toshiba, has reported several advances in hybrid MT (as published in the Asian Association of Machine Translation in 2011) and presented in Japan Translation Festival (see presentation here). Making calls to other countries a challenge for Japanese speakers: locals often don’t have much choice but to learn someone else’s language or hope there’s a Japanese speaker on the other end of the line. All going well, NTT DoCoMo’s planned Hanashite Hon’yaku automatic translation service, international calls will be as comfortable as phoning a store in Nagano. As long as a subscriber has at least an Android 2.2 phone […]

Toshiba Offers Translation System for Cell Phones

by Manuel Herranz If you are traveling to  East Asia, you may soon be able to turn to your mobile phone and use it to obtain on-the-spot quick, easy and cheap translation if you use  a new application from Toshiba. This development follows the announcement by Fuji that they will manufacture glasses with translation capabilities (reported in Pangeanic’s blog in November from switched.com). Toshiba has now developed a trilingual translation system with voice recognition and synthesis. It is compact and light enough to be installed in a cell phone. Unlike the glasses or other existing applications for the iPhone, the software doesn’t offload processing to a more powerful server on the network but performs the task inside the phone. This speeds the whole process and avoids potentially costly data roaming charges if you are using the service abroad. The software is a reduced version of a PC application that Toshiba already […]

Re: In Memoriam: Ching-yi Doughtery

Ching-yi Doughtery, a pioneer in English-Chinese machine translation application, has passed away at her home in Oakland on October 13. She was 96 and a key figure in Chinese Studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Mrs Dougherty was a founding fellow of Merrill College and one of its first Resident Preceptors. Her career at the University of California at Santa Cruz began in 1967. She was the first chair of the University’s interdisciplinary East Asian Studies committee. She also served as Chair of the Faculty at Merrill. Following a reorganization in 1979, she was a Cowell fellow before she retired in 1981. BIOGRAPHY Ching-yi was born in her native China in 1913 in the capital city, Beijing. She attended her undergraduate degree from the prestigious Yenching University, which was later incorporated into Peking University. Her father was one of China’s first western-educated dentists but still did not approve of Ching-yi attending a mixed college, and preferred that she attend an all-women teacher’s college. Ching-yi arranged her own […]