Copyright (C) Leo J. Moser, 1998 and 2002

Acadon Homepage for

Translation & Interpreting

Planet Earth may today have as many as 10,000 separate linguistic cultures. Within the very general constraints set by our genetic capacity for language of some sort, specific languages are learned as part of the culture pattern of the specific linguistic culture. Each such culture sets its own patterns for the linguistic expession of thought. These are very detailed in form, and no two linguistic cultures will ever recreate the same pattern. While the physical barriers to communication are falling in the face of radio, telephone, television and the Internet, the linguistic barriers will remain. How then can we communicate?

Translation between languages is a subject that is often misunderstood. To many it seems as if it should be far easier than it really is. But as mentioned, each language represents its own system for the analysis of human experience. The categories used for entities, actions, ideas, et al. are unique to each language. These categories overlap in what they cover, and they relate to each other in differing ways. Thus they cannot be mapped into sets of equivalents between languages.

For those who are interested in interlinguistics and translation systems, the following essays are cited:

"Machine Translation: The Disappointing Past and Present"
by Martin Kay (Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, Palo Alto,
CA.) **Link

"The Issue of Author Intentions" by Leo Moser

"Lost in Translation" by Stephen Budiansky **Link

"The StarTrek Universal Translator" by Leo Moser

"StarTrek Dreams, Internet Realities" by Leo Moser

"What Precisely is a Linked Alternative Language?"
by Leo Moser

"Interlinguistics" by Otto Jespersen **Link

"An Automated Translator Takes its Best Shot"
Translation humor **Link:

"Interpreting and Translation as a Profession"

Devices to test with:

~~~~~~~ Copyright (C) Leo J. Moser 2000 ~~~~~~~~~



A web page devoted to the weaknesses of automatic translation on the Internet is:


For a discussion of such things as the universal translator featured in the StarTrek series, click here. Another web page on translation in the Startrek series is: