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POETRY & FINE LITERATURE ON TECHNOLOGY'S CHOPPING BLOCK

Humans may have an appreciation for poetry and fine literature but translation machines don't... or should I say those who program those machines don't. If they did they'd have made provisions to recognize Hamlet's soliloquy or a Ralph Emerson's poem and divert all translation querys to a quality human translation. Instead, these cultural barbarians allow these literary works to be treated like any other text file ripe for their technological chopping block.

Out of necessity I've run these pieces through two stages of translation software... from the original English version to one of several languages and back. I've mixed up the various services to avoid any copyright issues. Each service has it's own strengths and weaknesses. Babelfish and Google clearly use the same SYSTRAN software, Wordlingo's translations vary somewhat. They better preserve a document's format but often leave more indecipherable artifacts. In all cases when the software can not properly translate a word it substitutes a foreign word. In rare instances I've switched sentences from one translation to another of the same language but from a different source should one be more clear. The original English versions are included at the bottom of each page. To give the software a fair chance I've also had to modify some slang words. For instance in Whitman's "To A Locomotive in Winter" a line like "Launch'd o'er the praries wide, across the lakes" was changed to "Launched over the praries wide, across the lakes"

SHAKESPEAR

"ITS OR NOT ITS -- WHICH IS THE QUESTION?"

EMILY DICKENSON

"APPLE FELL LOWER ON THE TREE ANOTHER CEILING"

"I FELT A BURIAL IN MY BRAIN"

"WILD NIGHT! WILD NIGHT! WERE I WITH TEA,"

"THE STARTED WIND TO BALANCE GRAM"

WALT WHITMAN




This site 2006, Robb Strycharz
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