We need an online English-Persian automatic translator
By Sam Ghandchi
September 19, 2003
There are now a great number of articles on the web that are
of interest to readers who can only read Persian . Unfortunately
there is no English-Persian automatic translator available on
the web. There are many such translators available for
other languages. For example a friend of mine uses Google's
French-English automatic translator for his business
and is highly satisfied with the quality of the translation.
Of course, I am not expecting this tool to be able to translate
Shakespeare. I know that nothing can replace human translators
masterfully translated Shakespeare to Persian or Rumi to
English. Their translations are literary works of unique
quality. For those texts the automatic translator will
be just an assistant for the human translator. What
I am discussing here is translation of everyday articles.
There are even Iranians born abroad who can use Persian to English
translators enabling them to read a lot of articles in Persian
about the Iran of today, and of course many Americans and Europeans
others who are interested in the news and articles from Iran.
Also I am not asking for this option to replace the need to learn
English which is an international language and not particular
to U.S. or U.K. natives and is a must for anybody wanting
to stay at the leading-edge of science and humanities. In
fact, many of the Iranian youth inside Iran nowadays speak and
read English very well.
And I know there are many discussions about changing the Persian
script to Latin but that is not of interest to me now. My
goal is to have Iranians who read the current script to be
able to get the English articles translated in the script
they can read.
Those reading Persian in Latin script do not exceed even 0.5%
of all who can read Persian and if a change towards their desired
option happens, an automatic translator from that
script to the current script will also be needed.
Here's a better, more practical option.
back I found an English-Persian
automatic translator on the web. I tried
to use it but I never received any response from them when I
submitted my sample text for translation. Nonetheless
if they or any other company have developed the tool, maybe companies
like Google can use their work as a head start. Actually
Google already offers its services in Persian and English, so
offering an online translator would be the next step and I hope
they implement it.
Currently there are many excellent English to Persian and Persian
to English dictionaries. My favorite one is Aryanpour. I
am glad these dictionaries already exist because they are the
building blocks of the automatic translator. Let's hope that
with the many Iranian experts in linguistics, computer science,
and Persian literature, can work together to create an automatic
translator for us.
At the same time I am glad to see that the U.S.
government has helped to develop a proxy for Iranian users who
I hope it will perhaps also commission companies like
Google to develop automatic translators for Persian-English. These
are the kind of projects that can be extremeley useful for Iranians
and the pro-democracy movement.
Sam Ghandchi is publisher/editor of IranScope,
an Iranian news and culture portal site.
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