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Showing posts from March, 2007

The language (prevention) committee???

I haven't been here for some days and had to follow up quite a bunch of e-mails and what do I find? People complain about the requirement to have a localized UI for a new language project, mainly talking about Wikipedia in a new language. We are also accused to use the policy request for our own neat reasons ... uhm ... which own neat reasons should we have if not making sure a new Wikipedia can have an easy life???.

Today most new wikipedias are really small projects with a quite restricted number of potential editors.

Now let us go back to the day the Neapolitan Wikipedia was requested ... I already had thought about a Wikipedia in Neapolitan, but had planned it for autumn 2006 to start, but everything went different: in Summer 2005 people in the discussion group napulitano@yahoogroups.com started to say things like "it would be great to have a Neapolitan wikipedia" and at a certain stage I simply decided to open the new language request and see if there was enough suppo…

Pisa ... again, but different this time

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Being on the way back home on the motorway I decided to get finally used to my PDA and start to write my blog. Up to date I always was in Pisa for conferences or meetings, but not this time. Yesterday meant "back into the class room" and teach to me, at the SSML. It was a strange feeling having the register with the names of the students in hand and having to check who was present and who not. It was the first time after 12 years and I noted that I missed that for quite some time. Showing students new things, explaining etc., yes it is definitely fun. Of course it was quite different to years ago, I did not give German language lessons, but explained how to use OmegaT, how to use Wikipedia and its sister projects to search for terminology. We looked at OmegaWiki and how to add a definition or translation. We also took the time to talk about things like networking on portals like LinkedIn. Last but not least we also had a look at IRC as a communication means sice in future ch…

Banche ... ma sono fuori? (Monte Paschi di Siena)

Allora: qualche tempo fa faccio un bonifico per inviare del denaro ad un c/c italiano. Ho tutti i dati e mio marito va in banca per eseguirlo. Quando torna vedo le spese per un bonifico: EUR 5,50 ... conoscevo questo importo per bonifci all'estero e quindi ho pensato che si sono sbagliati ... chiamo: e la risposta era: no, è l'importo da pagare per bonifici eseguiti in filiale per i c/c in Italia. Già allora ho scritto un'e-mail con lamentele al servizio dei clienti alla centrale della MPS. Ma che ... non si sentono mica di dover rispondere ... comunque: chiedere quel importo secondo me è frode e la Commissioner Neelie Smit-Kores presso la Commissione Europea come anche le varie associazioni per la difesa dei consumatori dovrebbero essere molto interessati (riceveranno la copia della e-mail spedita alla banca + qualche nota aggiuntiva). Non ho avuto il tempo per farlo in questo periodo ... giuro che lo farò. E: mi chiedo se i clienti della MPS in Italia semplicemente acce…

Amalfi Coast - finding the treasure

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I hardly ever post personal notes here, well today I will. This is in answer to an article I read on Positanonews in English: City Slickers and Country Cousins.


What is it that makes people fall in love with this very particular part of the world? Well ... I still remember the day I first came here in the Summer of 1986. We arrived in the afternoon after a long trip first in train to Naples and then from there by car. The first glance at the coast leaving the motor way in Vietri sul Mare was simply incredible ... the sun reflected like many shimmering stars on the sea. The blue of that sea and the green of the mountains ... an incredible feeling came up ... from one second to the other, not having even seen more than that one glance, I was sure that this was the place to live, the place to stay until the end of days. This was the moment when I felt like coming finally home after an endless trip from wherever in the world. Still today, whenever I have to leave this unique place to live,…

When Open Source, Machine Translation and Computer Assisted Translation meet

Nice title, right? Well what scenario is possible there? Where are the potentials? What are the problems?

Ok, so let's start: actually there is more translation need in Open Source and Open Content than what can be handled by humans right now. All we need is probably already available and just needs some adjustment and additional feature.

Imagine a software like Mozilla Firefox that needs UI translation and manual translation. Well: the UI should be done by using a CAT, but considering some basic facts like: translators are not programmers, each language is very different - this must be considered somewhere - and yes, I know they are working on it. Then take the manual and the help files: the need translation and over time updates. A workflow I could imagine is:

1) Machine translation of the manual/help files using Apertium
2) Alignment of source and target text and load it in OmegaT for proof reading and translation of the parts that are completely "out of order".
3) Creat…