This shears manifest themselves in uncounted PowerPoint foils

Another vaguely whimsical coffee-break post…

Peter Suber wants to keep us in the know. When an available article about open access isn’t in English, he does the only economically viable thing: Post a link to a machine translation (in this case Google). Here’s the translation (and here, I hope, is the Suber item–I got it today because he updated it today).

Some of the language is simply charming (noting that this is Google, not the writer):

“this shears manifest themselves in uncounted PowerPoint foils” – haven’t you wanted to say that?

“I know myself in the bibliothekarischen Community mentioned not out, do not see it however in principle not as disadvantage that one completely unideologisch, also for purely monetary reasons for open ACCESS its kan.” – Would that I could know myself this well!

“That is common, with thesis 3. that, pardon, stupidest and most arrogant Palaver, which I read in recent time in the academic surrounding field!” – No comment,

“Oh, is hypocritical that! Universities, scientist, studying may get the output of publicly financed research not free of charge, because the bad industry would then get that also free of charge.” – Also no comment.

Leading to the summary:

“Mr. Ball summarizes that open Acces represents definitely no revolution in scientific communication and it at the time is that the bibliothekarische Community is concerned with more important things.
I summarize for me that the Mr. Ball arranged arguments, illusory arguments, prejudices, Ignoranz and half truths to a high song in the production way of the established publishing houses.”

Two serious comments:

  • Despite the sometimes-charming problems of machine translation, it’s not hard to figure out what’s being said in this long and vigorous refutation of an anti-open-access piece.
  • The writer appears to know their stuff, and it’s clear that the myths of anti-OA argumentation are not restricted to the English language.

And one whimsical comment: Google’s translate tools may have a future in Joyce simulation, particularly given that “I know myself…” comment.

2 Responses to “This shears manifest themselves in uncounted PowerPoint foils”

  1. Peter Suber Says:

    Walt: It’s easy to link to a machine translation, which can make it hard to justify omitting the link, at least when you want to let your readers know about a work not in their language. But, as you point out, the quality is often so low that this can be a close call.

    Serious progress in machine translation will be as revolutionary as serious progress in open access, and I look forward to both for similar reasons. They remove different access barriers and together could create effective no-barrier access to whatever we may want to read.

  2. walt Says:

    Peter–and I appreciate the link. In this case, the translation’s good enough to understand what he’s saying, although I think we lose much of the power and eloquence of the original.

    But also in this case, the sheer charm of some of the less-than-wholly-satisfactory translations was such that I did the post. I hope it’s clear to the original author (if he sees this) that I’m not denigrating what appears to be an excellent rebuttal.

    I wonder whether we’ll see truly satisfactory machine translation within my lifetime. (That’s “wonder,” not “don’t believe.”) There are two fundamental problems–one of which may be a bit less severe for scholarly resources:

    1. Different languages have such different constructions that effective translation can be difficult. (In the example cited, at least one marvelous result is, I believe, a case where typical German sentence order results in a different effect in English.)

    2. (“Why a roundtrip translation for Cites & Insights or Walt at Random material might be particularly gruesome.”) Idiomatic language is, I suspect, much harder to translate effectively, as is colloquial language. I love good idiomatic American, and try to use it, but it can’t be easy to translate, and I’m sure the same is true for other languages.

    The one tendency of Google’s translate that I found bemusing, rather than amusing, was its tendency to turn “Open Access” into “open ACCESS.”


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