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Buy Complete Document: AbstractAbstract Full Text Full Text
Jerusalem Post - Jerusalem
Author: Baum, Daniel
Date: Oct 17, 1993
Start Page: 05
Section: Science
Abstract (Document Summary)

Targumatik purports to translate English text into Hebrew, although even the manufacturers admit that it will only give you a draft translation. This seems to be their way of saying the program doesn't work, and believe me, it doesn't.

The program seems to have been provided with a few elementary grammatical rules, which it abuses at every opportunity. It knows, for instance, that "ha" is Hebrew for "the." It also knows that "ha-chi" is Hebrew for "the best." Therefore, "John's best friend," one of the few instances where "best" is not preceded by "the," is "John yadid ki tov," which sounds poetically biblical, but hardly translates the spirit of the original. Incidentally, it got "my best friend" right, which shows it has trouble with English genitive forms.

In a nutshell, the program is utterly useless for anyone who doesn't know Hebrew well, because it's terribly misleading, and totally useless for anyone who does, because he could easily come up with a more acceptable and less laughable translation. I have never had to say this about a program before, but avoid Targumatik at all costs.

Buy Complete Document: AbstractAbstract Full Text Full Text

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