Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Translations in WiktionaryZ will seem odd to people. Adding translations will be in many ways be against what people always do; people translate a word from one language to another language and yes, they take into account the meaning of the word in both languages. In WiktionaryZ this is not exactly how it is done.

In WiktionaryZ, a translation is added to a DefinedMeaning. The best way of understanding what the DefinedMeaning means is by looking at its definition. When the Italian word "cavallo" is added as a translation, the person adding the translation may know the word "horse" and "Pferd" and as a consequence put it in with the right DefinedMeaning. When this is associated with the Dutch word "paard", it is relevant to know that paard has multiple meanings and only one is this animal that you can sit on, another is this family of animals that all look like this animal that you can sit on ...

The point that I am making is that it is really relevant to translate the definition of the DefinedMeaning because that is what allows people to link new translations to the right DefinedMeaning. When definitions are newly formulated, there will be descrepancies between the definitions, these will sometimes be enough to warrant multiple DefinedMeanings.

Thanks,
GerardM

3 Comments:

Anonymous Kipcool said...

DefinedMeaning <-> DefinedMeaning = Cool :-) That's what the actual structure of Wiktionary really does not permit. (And I don't know any dictionary that does that.)

The actual structure in most Wiktionaries is DefinedMeaning -> Word (and in some other, it's only word -> word...). So, I'm wondering how we can import the translations from Wiktionaries to WiktionaryZ (hmm, both words sound the same :D).
If a given translation exists in 2 wiktionaries, then, maybe we can deduce the DefinedMeaning for both word, but that would be only for a few translations I guess.

So, my point is: do we allow the user to do DefinedMeaning->Word? And then, we would have something like a category of "translations to be classified/checked".

I also thought of another situation that lead to the same conclusion: I'm learning Chinese; I'm able to translate some words, but I'm not able to read definitions in Chinese, so I can only match DefinedMeaning(fr) with Word(zh).

We should also think of what happens if we want to split or merge DefinedMeanings.

Anyway, knowing how linguists are struggling with polysemy and disambiguation, I'm sure that will make WiktionaryZ a more than interesting ressource :-)

--Kipcool

9:13 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry for writing this off-topic commment here but I couldn't find anything about this topic yet.

The thing is that the wiktionaries don't show up well in search engines. If you do a search for "dictionary" on Google.com you don't find the English Wiktionary until page 12 of the search results. The same happens if you do a search for a word and add the string "define", "dict" or "dictionary". So I'm wondering if something can be done about this and if WiktionaryZ will bring any improvements in this respect.

Maybe this topic could be addressed here in the future (in case you find it relevant). :-)

4:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Note that [horse] is actually a hyponym of [equid]. Do monolingual Dutch dictionaries actually distinguish these as separate senses of "Paard"?

10:22 pm  

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