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Old 02-21-2024, 05:50 PM   #1
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Thoughts on AI translations?

Revolution, evolution, or flawed experiment?


Chatgpt 3.5 samples:

Spoiler:

Original text:
Heinz G. Konsalik
Airport-Klinik

Inhaltsangabe

Flughafen Frankfurt: eine eigene, kleine Welt. Hier gibt es alles: Hotels, Cafes, Kinos, teure Geschäft - und eine Klinik. Das Schicksal führt sie alle hierher: die Frau, die auf der Toilette in der Wartehalle ein Kind entbunden hat, den von Rowdys verprügelten Börsenmakler und den übermütigen Passagier, der sich den Fuß gebrochen hat. Mitten im Geschehen finden sich Dr. Fritz Hansen und die Belegschaft der Klinik: Nicht nur, daß Schwester Brigitte nach einer Affäre mit einem Steward von der Mafia terrorisiert wird; auch Dr. Hansen wird bedroht, als der verzweifelte Vater eines patienten ankündigt, die Klinik in die Luft zu jagen...


In the style of James Joyce:

"Heinz G. Konsalik's 'Airport Clinic'

Synopsis

At the Frankfurt Airport, a world all its own, a microcosm of existence teeming with life. Here, amidst the cacophony of hotels, cafes, cinemas, and opulent emporiums, lies a sanctuary of healing - a clinic, nestled amidst the chaos.

Fate, that capricious mistress, draws them all here: the woman, delivering new life in the solitude of a restroom; the stockbroker, battered by the tumultuous forces of fate; and the audacious passenger, whose reckless abandon leads to a fractured foot.

In the midst of this bustling tableau, we encounter Dr. Fritz Hansen and the dedicated staff of the clinic, their lives interwoven in a tapestry of love and danger. For it is not only Sister Brigitte who finds herself ensnared in the machinations of the underworld, her heart torn asunder by forbidden desire, but Dr. Hansen, too, faces a dire threat as a desperate father vows to unleash destruction upon the clinic's doorstep.

In this labyrinthine narrative, the Airport Clinic emerges as a bastion of hope amidst the tumult of existence, where the threads of fate intertwine and the human spirit endures, resilient in the face of adversity.
"


In the style of a romantic novelist:

Frankfurt Airport: a world unto itself, where dreams take flight amidst the bustling scene. Here, amidst the grandeur of hotels, the allure of cafes, and the enchantment of cinemas, lies a haven of healing - a clinic, nestled amidst the chaos.

Fate, in its mysterious design, brings forth a cast of characters, each with their own tale to tell: the woman who, in the solitude of a restroom, brings forth new life into the world; the stockbroker, bruised and battered by the hands of violence; and the daring passenger, whose reckless spirit leads to a broken foot.

Amidst this whirlwind of events, we encounter Dr. Fritz Hansen and the dedicated staff of the clinic, their lives intertwined in a tapestry of love and danger. For not only does Sister Brigitte find herself ensnared in the clutches of the underworld, her heart torn asunder by a forbidden love affair, but Dr. Hansen, too, faces a perilous threat as a desperate father vows to unleash destruction upon the clinic's doorstep.

In this tale of love, loss, and redemption, the Airport Clinic becomes a beacon of hope amidst the storm, where the bonds of friendship and the strength of the human spirit shine brightest in the darkest of times."


In the comedic style of Evely Waugn:

Frankfurt Airport: its own, diminutive cosmos. Here one finds all: Inns, cafes, picture-houses, lavish emporiums - and a clinic. Destiny draws them all hither: the damsel delivering in the restroom's vestibule, the battered stock-jobber beset by hooligans, and the impudent voyager, foot fractured in folly. In the midst of this tumult, Dr. Fritz Hansen and the clinic's crew are ensnared: Not only is Sister Brigitte menaced by the underworld, post liaison with a steward; even Dr. Hansen faces peril, as a desperate patient's sire threatens to engulf the clinic in flames...

In the style of Ernest Hamingway:

Frankfurt Airport: a world of its own. Here, amidst the hustle and bustle of hotels, cafes, cinemas, and pricey shops, stands a clinic. Fate brings them all here: the woman giving birth in the restroom, the beaten stockbroker, and the reckless passenger with a broken foot. Amidst it all, Dr. Fritz Hansen and the clinic staff face their own trials: Sister Brigitte, harassed by the mafia after an affair, and Dr. Hansen, threatened by a desperate father's vow to blow up the clinic.

In the style of Shakespeare:

At Frankfurt Airport, a realm unto itself, doth lie all manner of delights: hostelries, taverns, theaters, opulent emporiums - and a clinic. Fate doth draw them hither, one and all: the lady who, in the hall of waiting, didst deliver a babe in the privy, the merchant of the Exchange set upon by ruffians, and the wanton traveler who hath fractured his foot. In the midst of this tumult, doth emerge Dr. Fritz Hansen and the retinue of the clinic: Not only is Sister Brigitte assailed by the criminal underworld, following her liaison with a steward; e'en Dr. Hansen is threatened, as the anguished sire of a patient doth vow to lay waste the clinic with explosives..."

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Old 02-21-2024, 05:56 PM   #2
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Pretty much all the AI translations I've seen remind me of using Google Translate and similar tools. Good if you are unable to read the source language but not very good as a translation compared to a human translator.
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Old 02-21-2024, 06:35 PM   #3
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Mostly only good for short non-fiction paragraph. Only good for an entire book if they've pirated it already. You also need some familiarity with source language and subject to decode nonsense.
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Old 02-21-2024, 07:30 PM   #4
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@Quoth: your view sounds more like prejudice than experience.

My actual experience using Google translate on a novel was not bad at all.

I used it to translate the German version of a Ben Aaronovich novella that was released in German before it was released in English.. I later re-read the book when the--presumably original--English version became commercially available.

The original was better in that it made sense in the couple of places the Google translation was hard to follow and the word usage was more consistent which make following the story easier.

But the Google translation was perfectly serviceable.

This wasn't one of Mr. Aaaonovich's better efforts and his style didn't seem to add anything to this story, though I generally enjoy his writing quite a bit.
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Old 02-21-2024, 07:39 PM   #5
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If it's good, it's because they have a translated copy.

I've been using online translation for 20+ years.

Google started with copies of EU documents. The same thing in different languages. It's brute force pattern comparison of phrases to known translations.

"a Ben Aaronovich novella that was released in German before it was released in English"
But how much of it wasn't phrases already known to Google?

If you found it good enough you were lucky.
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Old 02-21-2024, 07:39 PM   #6
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I find it pretty awesome for providing paraphrases. Sometimes I ask gpt 3.5 to list alternative ways to convey an idea, and it usually does quite a good job at amazing speed!

Haven't yet tried 4.0, nor Claude, because it isn't available in my country.

I've asked it to do Douglas Adams style, was hoping it would insert "DON'T PANIC" somewhere in the text. :\

Spoiler:

- Please translate, in the style of Douglas Adams
ChatGPT

In the bustling microcosm of Frankfurt Airport lies a peculiar universe unto itself: Airport-Klinik. Here, amidst the cacophony of jet engines and hurried footsteps, exists a realm where destinies converge. Picture this: a woman unexpectedly delivering a child in the restroom of the waiting lounge, a battered stockbroker nursing wounds inflicted by rowdy travelers, and a carefree passenger hobbling in with a fractured foot. Amidst this whirlwind of happenstance, we meet Dr. Fritz Hansen and the eclectic staff of the clinic.

But hold on to your hats (or in this case, your complimentary airport slippers), for the drama doesn't end there. Sister Brigitte finds herself entangled in a web of mafia threats following a dalliance with a steward. Meanwhile, Dr. Hansen's tranquility is shattered as the desperate father of a patient threatens to blow the entire clinic sky-high.

In the labyrinthine corridors of Airport-Klinik, where every arrival and departure holds a tale, one can't help but wonder: amidst the chaos of modern travel, is there room for healing hearts alongside mending bones?

- now insert somewhere the phrase "DON'T PANIC", in a way that doesn't affect too much the original idea
ChatGPT
In the whirlwind of chaos at Airport-Klinik, where every arrival and departure tells a story, one universal mantra echoes through the corridors: "DON'T PANIC." Amidst the drama of unexpected deliveries, battered travelers, and clandestine threats, Dr. Fritz Hansen and his team navigate the storm with a steady hand. For in this bustling microcosm where destinies collide, a touch of calm amidst the turbulence can make all the difference.


- yeah but rewrite the whole thing
ChatGPT
In the bustling microcosm of Frankfurt Airport lies a peculiar universe unto itself: Airport-Klinik. Here, amidst the cacophony of jet engines and hurried footsteps, exists a realm where destinies converge. Picture this: a woman unexpectedly delivering a child in the restroom of the waiting lounge, a battered stockbroker nursing wounds inflicted by rowdy travelers, and a carefree passenger hobbling in with a fractured foot. Amidst this whirlwind of happenstance, we meet Dr. Fritz Hansen and the eclectic staff of the clinic.

But hold on to your hats (or in this case, your complimentary airport slippers), for the drama doesn't end there. Sister Brigitte finds herself entangled in a web of mafia threats following a dalliance with a steward. Meanwhile, Dr. Hansen's tranquility is shattered as the desperate father of a patient threatens to blow the entire clinic sky-high.

Yet, in the midst of this chaos, one timeless mantra rings true: "DON'T PANIC." Amidst the labyrinthine corridors of Airport-Klinik, where every arrival and departure holds a tale, this simple reminder serves as a beacon of calm in the storm. For in the whirlwind of modern travel, amidst the bustling terminals and bustling emergencies, a touch of serenity can be the most potent remedy of all.

(BTW I've been to Frankfurt, stayed for 9 days in the city, and this Flughafen is so immense that I almost missed my connecting flight to Munich... had to beg the crew to re-open the aircraft door, and somehow I eventually managed to convince them )

edit: hmm... I arrived in Munich then came back to Frankfurt eventually, stayed in Munich just two days

Last edited by Comfy.n; 02-21-2024 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 02-21-2024, 07:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quoth View Post
If it's good, it's because they have a translated copy.

I've been using online translation for 20+ years.

Google started with copies of EU documents. The same thing in different languages. It's brute force pattern comparison of phrases to known translations.

"a Ben Aaronovich novella that was released in German before it was released in English"
But how much of it wasn't phrases already known to Google?

If you found it good enough you were lucky.
Oddly enough, we've been using online translation for about the same amount of time--my first experience was using it to translate the grandfathering rules for the EU restrictions on the Landesbanks around 2000.
At that time, the translations were terrible.

Over the years, I've used online translations for my non-fiction texts frequently--usually relating to legal matters.

They became very usuable over time and eventually, the translations quite solid.

I mostly used the translations to prep for conversations with non-US lawyers who spoke English, as a way to know what to ask about. I was pleasantly surprised in recent years that the machine-translated text was accurate enough to hide my ignorance of the matters being discussed.

Whether this is a result of "copying know phrases" or not--it worked.

Of course, your use-case and you need may differ.
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Old 02-22-2024, 08:15 AM   #8
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Personally, I'm not convinced... I don't think the AIs are powerful enough yet. Whether for text translation or text generation, it lacks accuracy.

And if the book's writing is a bit complex, the AI is completely lost.
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Old 02-22-2024, 08:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comfy.n View Post
I find it pretty awesome for providing paraphrases. Sometimes I ask gpt 3.5 to list alternative ways to convey an idea, and it usually does quite a good job at amazing speed!
I think that continuity may be a problem. Especially with names, as it doesn't know how to translate them. Likewise it can be confused in more complex passages. Otherwise I was also impressed by speed of it as well. Then there are apparently topics that it will refuse to traslate. Violence isn't much of a problem, but sexuality is.


I tried it on a fairly complex short story with a few similes, and I think that it did a good job with it. I did no corrections, my own explanations and errors are in brackets in italics. I was very impressed that Multatuli was correctly detected as a writer, personally, I had no idea what that part was about until I went to Wikipedia. But I think that first and last paragraphs don't flow correctly, and can be confusing as it is.

Slovene to English.
Ivan Cankar. Short story: Rue de nations, published in 1903.
Public domain.

Spoiler:
It was as though I had risen from the grave. Buried beneath the weight of sorrowful existence, deep beneath the heavy soil, my hands no longer possessed the strength to lift the burden. I felt myself already dead, forgotten, hearing the footsteps of people treading over my grave. They lived and spoke loudly and joyfully, while I lay deep beneath the heavy soil, grappling with stale, stubborn thoughts, the thoughts of a dead man, and I despised others for not thinking as I did, for walking lightly and cheerfully over my grave. And now I have awakened, and I have sighed, and the burden has rolled away. Love has entered my heart, that love which alone is strong enough to lift a man from the grave. It slept within me, beneath the weight of sorrowful and bitter life, but a soft and warm hand touched her eyes and eyelashes trembled and she awakened. With great strength she embraced me entirely; from the south a spring breeze blew and brought me greetings from that land, from which an invisible hand had uprooted me from its soil, uprooted with roots so bloodied; it rustled from Raskovec and Javornik, the spring breezes from the Ljubljana plain brought greetings to me from Ring [common name, I've no Idea on the source of it], I heard in the wind the muffled singing of the bells of the parish church of St. Paul. Thus the wind brought me greetings from the poor mother, whose son had forgotten her because she could give him nothing . . . A letter came from my half-forgotten beloved, and when I opened it, everything smelled of those times, of those innocent kisses, of lush meadows where we walked, of the chestnut grove where we sat on a bench and she pressed herself to me, because heavy drops were falling from behind the leaves, so that her wet blouse clung to her hand; it smelled of the past, of youth, of that beautiful land there in the south; the doors had been pushed open a bit, the loving hand of my half-forgotten, forever lost beloved had pushed them open and already they had opened wide and everything was returning with sunny, great force and like ashes it scattered and the shroud [Burial shroud] fell from me and the film [Cataract. As Shround, slightly inaccurate translation] fell from my eyes that I had been looking through into the dark world. This happened on a beautiful day when the houses shone in the sun and wet greenery sprouted in the gardens.

In the evening I went to the café and greeted a friend sitting at a table in a cloud of tobacco smoke. He noticed my flushed face and my exuberant eyes and was surprised, almost offended. Pale and lifeless as he was, he did not like to look at happy faces. I told him that I was celebrating the holiday of my resurrection. And since there was within me a fullness of youthful energy waiting to be poured into bold deeds, I told him about my plans and hopes of greatness and immense numbers. He smoked and listened to me; at times he glanced sideways at me. When I fell silent, somewhat subdued and timid under the cold gaze of his eyes, he leaned his elbow on the table and spoke. He spoke slowly and calmly, without looking me directly in the face. "Do you remember Multatuli's Havelaar, the beautiful tale of Said? When Said returned to his native village, [Talk is of Dutch novel Max Havelaar, written by Multatuli. Säidjah is a character in it. He was translated to Saidja in original story. In Slovene passage goes "Ali se spominjaš na Havelaarja Multatuli-jevega, na lepo povest o Saidju? Ko se je vrnil Saidja..." Chatgpt and deepl translate it correctly by turning order of words Havelaar and Multatuli, both then stick with Said for the duration of the story. Google translate and another free translator retain order Havelaar Multatuli that confuses meaning, and translate Säidjah differently at time: "Do you remember Havelaar Multatuli, the beautiful story about Said? When Saidja returned to his home village,..."] he waited under a tree all night for his beloved to come to him at dawn, as they had agreed upon parting. He waited and his beloved did not come. And he went into the village, and down the village, to the end, and back up the village again; there was no house of his beloved. He ran down to the end, and returned — there was no house. All the houses stood there as before, only the house of his beloved was not there. Poor Said thought he was mad and ran down again and up again — everything was as before, but the house of his beloved was not there . . . Look, all the nations came to Paris as guests. Along the 'avenue of nations' they made their homes, the smaller the nation, the larger and more beautiful they made it. [Passage is about Exposition Universelle (1900) that is used as a simile for the story] And if you had come to that street and had looked for your home, you would have walked along the street like Said; down to the end and back up again — all the houses would have stood there, but your home would not be there; you would have run down, your eyes would have been bloodshot and crazed with fear; and you would have run and returned and not found your home. All the houses were there, your house was not. You were a stranger there, a vagabond without a home. If someone had come and asked you, 'Who are you? Where are you from? Show me your home!' — you would have hung your head and bowed your back and not answered him. Therefore, every joy and every hope is foolish. You have no home, which means you are a branch without a trunk, a broken branch that has fallen on rotten leaves and dries there and finally withers away. You have no home; your thoughts are foreign, as if the wind had brought them from all sides, all your work is foreign, grown from foreign soil, every word of yours is foreign, because even the language you speak is no longer yours. How would a branch thrive on rotten leaves, broken off from the trunk? We are branches, decaying because there is no sap from the trunk to give us strength. Tell me, where did your enthusiasm for work, for life, come from? Think well, look at your soul in a clear mirror, ruthlessly reveal to yourself the origin and purpose of your mental inertia and you will understand that you have no home. Your birthplace, my dear, is like a gypsy wagon, wandering from place to place. Since you have no wellspring to give you pride and love and strength, you also have no one to be grateful to. Just as all your effort is foreign, so is it also insignificant. It would be foolish to give anything to someone who gives you nothing. And it is impossible for you to give. Because there is no giving in the world, everything is just returning. What you have gathered elsewhere, return it to those who gave it to you; go and seek them out, if they desire repayment.

And I went and roamed along the road full of joy and youth, I poor Said. I heard his words and I heard them groaning, yes, I saw how each of them was steeped in bitter heart's blood. He was ashamed of his poor mother and he was blushing on his cheeks, because he was ashamed . . . The evening was clear and the gardens were green. And it rustled from Javornik and Raskovec, I heard in the wind the muffled singing of the bells of the parish church of St. Paul. Thus the wind brought me greetings from the poor mother, whose son had forgotten her because she could give him nothing. It was difficult and wonderfully sweet to me. I walked along the wide road, the road of nations, and there stood tall buildings. I walked, a stranger without a home, but my heart was squeezed and expanded by the great, painful and joyful love for a mother who has no home; I would not trade this love for all the wealth of homes standing there so proudly by the roadside: 'Look, you are a beggar and your coat is patched and your bare feet are all sore and dusty from wandering without rest!' Ah, mother, my life, all my thoughts, the beginning and end of all my striving! How calloused and bent are your poor holy hands, — bless me, son ["as your son", meaning is confused in translation, as it's not clear that talk is of writer asking mother for a blessing], with your poor holy hands! Your forehead is full of worries and suffering, crowned with thorns instead of a diadem, — bend to me, son, your beloved, thorn-crowned forehead, look upon the humble offering I bring you, the poor mother's poor son, look upon my heart and accept it! I wandered along the wide road, past tall buildings, and I was happy and proud, for there is no sweeter and more fruitful love than the love of sons who have no other than this sweet and fruitful love from their mother, worthy of a spacious home and all these wide and proud roads.

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Old 02-22-2024, 08:46 AM   #10
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Looking at Jackm8's spoiler in the first post, I'm impressed. I didn't do a detailed reading of the spoiler, but a quick skim looked pretty good to me.
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