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Old 02-05-13, 11:58 PM   #5
Phanx
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Originally Posted by Socratesx View Post
i need to translate just chat.
This would be pretty hard, actually. Not only do both of the languages involved (Russian and German) have many variations for every word (genders, cases, tenses, compound words, etc.) but chat messages are often misspelled or abbreviated. Add in slang terms, colloqualisms, and names -- all of which are often confusing or totally senseless when translated literally -- and there's a huge amount of complexity, and that's just word-to-word translation. Word order and sentence structure differ between languages, too, and that's much harder to deal with.

Even desktop chat programs don't really have any good real-time translation engines. It's just really hard to do. Trying to do it in a WoW addon would be a huge nightmare.

For example, consider the following Russian text:
Вам нужно изменить облик с помощью полиметановой кислоты.

The English version of this is:
You must be transformed by Polyformic Acid.

If you translated it literally, word for word, from Russian to English, you get:
You necessary change shape with by ??? acid.

You can sort of figure out what it means, but it's not even close to good grammar, and wouldn't be very helpful if you were trying to learn English that way.

Back on topic, translating the same text literally, word for word, from Russian to German yields:
Sie notwendig ändern gestalten mit durch ??? Säure.

Compare that with the correct German translation from Blizzard:
Ihr müsst von der Polyformsäure verwandelt sein.

There's not a single word in common, and I'm sure the literal translation would confuse even native German speakers!

As for "полиметановой", it's not a real word from the dictionary, so it's not even possible to translate it literally without a human brain (or an advanced AI) fluent in the language breaking it down into pieces and making assumptions about what they mean put together that way. For example, a native English speaker like myself sees the made-up word "Polyformic" and breaks it down into "poly" (many) + "form" + "ic" (having to do with) and infers that the word means "having to do with many forms/shapes", so it's fairly obvious what the name "Polyformic Acid" means, especially in context in-game -- it's a shape-shifting potion.

With my very basic knowledge of Russian, I can break down "поли" and guess it means the same thing as the English "poly" + "мета" which can be translated to "goal" or "purpose" or "use", + "новой" (new). While I'm sure the word as a whole makes sense to you (as a native Russian speaker) my best guess would be "many new uses" which hardly makes sense on its own, and doesn't come close to being an accurate translation of the actual meaning. Most machine translation services would not even be able to do that much.

Hopefully this helps you understand why this kind of translation addon is not really possible.

It would be possible (and easy) to replace specific words/terms (eg. replace "Сердце Страха" with "Herzen der Angst") but translating whole sentences -- especially the abbreviated, misspelled, and grammatically incorrect sentences you see in chat -- is really just not possible to do in an addon.
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Last edited by Phanx : 02-06-13 at 12:01 AM.
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