HI, do any of you good folks know of something online like BabelFish that will transcribe/translate a block of text from pinyin (with or without tone markers) into English?
Doesn’t have to be “dynamic equivalence”–word-for-word is fine. I’m just trying to save myself some page-flipping and time when doing some exercises, also wanting to get the gist of passages like what BabelFish does for me.
Thanks! I hope this isn’t a repeat, but I fear it might be…
I doubt this would even be possible without massive investment, since there are usually many characters (and thus many possible meanings) for any given pinyin rendering. How would the software ever guess which character was involved? First, it would have to be extremely colloquial, like modern spoken Mandarin, and even then, you’d be asking of the software the same interpretation ability that a human has – there would be so much context-based interpretation that some serious AI would be needed, and a phenomenal amount of code, no? So I don’t think you’re going to see anything like that anytime soon.
DB, you worry too much. The hard parts are already done. After all this is basically the same thing as using Pinyin to type Hanzi (for which many programs already exist), except instead of Hanzi we get English instead. And there are, of course, already many Mandarin-English translation programs.
So it’s just a relatively minor matter of combining the two in the particular way that the OP wants, though I don’t know that anyone has yet seen enough need for this to go to the trouble of doing so.
But there’s a simple, multi-step process that would work, using Firefox with Foxlingo installed.
[ol][li]Go to Google China. (Google Taiwan won’t do this yet.)[/li]
[li]Enter your Pinyin text (e.g., “women de pengyou”) in the search box and press enter. [/li]
[li]Highlight the appropriate Hanzi text returned on the first line (e.g., the text in red here: “您是不是要找： [color=red]我们的朋友[/color]”)[/li]
[li]On the Foxlingo toolbar, select “Text,” then “Chinese simplified,” then one of the online translators for “Chinese simplified to English.”[/li][/ol]
I hope, though, that Texas Guy isn’t just wanting this to help with his homework, as he’d be better off in the long run just learning the words instead of relying on the Web.
I remember the sage advice of a great Army Sergeant years ago, though, to “use ALL your resources!” Words to live by. I agree with you, but in the interim, it can sure save a [BLEEP!] of a lot of page-flipping for some onesies and twosies words that I simply don’t remember , plus give a rough measuring stick that I’m headed in the right direction if the sentence is a bit weird.
Homework aside, though, I like BabelFish for simple emails, as my writing ain’t so great yet. I will write the email once in English, once in pinyin, and then translate English-to-Traditional with BabelFish. I leave all 3 versions in the email along with the BabelFish link: babelfish.altavista.com/
I find it to be crude, but effective. I wouldn’t use it for anything “for the money,” but it’s OK for the gist of stuff.
Hammering away on those nasty multi-stroke words as we speak, in fact! Your advice, as is that of many others on this board, is great. thx