Sunday, October 16, 2005

Getting better all the time

Excerpts from an article by Michael Janairo in the Albany Times Union:
The publication of a new translation of Natsume Soseki's Botchan (Kodansha International; [...] translated by J. Cohn) offers the perfect opportunity to enter the fascinating world of modern Japanese literature.

In Japan, Botchan is regarded as a classic (it was originally published in 1906) and remains one of the most widely read books.

[T]he translation itself is masterful, generous and precise, making the novel a highly enjoyable read.
Just watch how the first sentence improves over the years:

From a 1919 translation: "Because of an hereditary recklessness, I have been playing always a losing game since my childhood."

From 1972: "Ever since I was a child, my inherent recklessness has brought me nothing but trouble."

And from 2005: "From the time I was a boy the reckless streak that runs in my family has brought me nothing but trouble."

Match that, machine translation systems!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Bible translated into SMS

Posted at Christian Today:

"In da Bginnin God cre8d da heavens & da earth".
The entire Bible has been translated into SMS format by the Bible Society in Australia. The latest version of the Bible enables 31,171 verses in the abbreviated text style to be sent direct to mobile phones. The verses are available free of charge on the internet.
The text versions also include, “da earth was barren, wit no 4m of life” and "We luv coz God luvd us 1st".
The International Contemporary English version of the Bible was used to convert the Old and New Testaments to text.
To receive the entire Bible by SMS, it would take over 30,000 messages and cost almost £3,432.
“The old days when the Bible was only available within a sombre black cover with a Cross on it are long gone," said Michael Chant, spokesman for the Bible Society.
“We want to open it up for people of all ages, backgrounds and interests, and the text message version is a logical extension of that.”