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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    2

    Out of my depth...Help?!

    Hi Db community,

    I am new to site and would greatly appreciate some advice.

    I have been asked to put forward a design idea for a new database by the company I have just joined. Which is great and all but, it has been around 8 years since I have even touched MS Access or any other programs even remotely linked to databases with the exception of Excel.

    Basically what they are looking for is a Translation Database. The company is a retail company selling clothing and other such items to international customers. Currently they use a third party to translate all items in a product launch into the required target languages, the problem being rather than storing and retaining the common recurring phrases for example "100% Cotton" they are having the same information translated again and again 9 times a year.

    So the goal is to develop a database that we can pass our data through before sending it off to the translation agency, to cut out things that have been previously translated and to store/add any new translations to the memory.

    The db must:

    - Translate full sentences/descriptions - with a rule to say that if it hasn't seen the full item description before, it is to not translate any of it.
    - Be user friendly by people with next to no database background.
    - Be able to be used for several languages.
    - Be able to add additional languages at any time.

    I realise that this is a huge ask, but any help anyone could provide would be amazing...

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    In front of the computer
    Posts
    15,579
    I take it that the company isn't very particular about translation quality. If that is the case, use one of the web APIs that handle translation, it will be more effective than a "phrase by phrase" translation and probably faster too. It will still not be close enough to human translation to fool even a casual reader, but it ought to get the idea across with less total effort than trying to cobble a translation engine and manually process the exceptions.

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    2

    Api

    Pat,
    Thank you for your reply. I have considered this approach i just wasnt quite sure of the way to approach it. If i do it that way, would it be advisable to set up a Translation Memory as well so that recurring common translations are stored and therefore eliminating the need to push them through the API each time or is it just as cost effective to run the whole product catalogues time and again?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    In front of the computer
    Posts
    15,579
    The big problem I've had with language translation and especially with phrase based translation is that it works for phrases in isolation (like a bullet list) pretty well but it fails as the complexity increases. For example, Polish, Parisian French, and German all come from Indo-European roots. English, Caribbean Spanish (as spoken in throughout the Caribbean) and Canadian French have more complex structure because of having assimilated many other languages over time. Even if you find a way to translate phrases between Polish and French, the linguistic structure of the more complex languages will make a mess of the translation.

    For what little the API calls cost, I'd do the entire sample each time in the hope that it will be at least grammatically more correct than trying to piecemeal the individual phrases together and hope for the best.

    If you want a professional and truly natural translation (that will appeal to viewers), I'd strongly consider at least having a native speaker proofread whatever translations you produce.

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

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