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Machine translation of poems

Once upon a midnight dreary, long we pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of translation lore.
When our system does translation, lifeless prose is its creation;
Making verse with inspiration no machine has done before.
Where no machine has gone before.
Quoth now Google, "Nevermore!"

Robert Frost (his “Unselected Road” ( rus | eng ) is considered one of the best English-language poems - approx. Trans.) Once said: “Poetry is lost in translation.” It is very difficult to translate poetry even for people, and for machine translators such a task is perceived as out of the ordinary. Therefore, we, driven by excitement and complexity of the task, began to test the verse translation system and were pleasantly surprised by the results.

So, this year at the EMNLP conference , we are going to present a report on the translation of poetry . In this paper, we explore purely technical problems with generating verses with a given verse dimension and a fixed rhyme.

The value of maintaining dimension and rhyme in poetic translation was discussed very widely. Vladimir Nabokov, for example, boldly asserted that since it is impossible to simultaneously preserve both the form and the exact content of the translated poem, the form in translation can be disregarded. Another no less (and for some more authoritative) opinion of Douglas Hofstadter (Douglas Hofstadter), is that the preservation of the form is very important because it conveys the feeling and sound of the poem. It was in this vein that we decided to experiment with the transfer of not only meaning, but also form.
Machine translation of such systems as Google Translate is usually performed by searching for possible translations, guided by statistical data on the use of phrases. For poems, such a model turned out to be unacceptable, so in our report we will tell you which new system it was decided to use. In general, we can say that we renounced one hundred percent accuracy in the name of the artistic translations.

As a pleasant side effect, it can be noted that prose can now be translated into poetry, while choosing its ultimate genre (even hockey) or allowing the system to choose the most appropriate form. At this stage, the system works very slowly in order to make it public, but we will share some excerpts:

The stanza from the Essai monographique les les Dianthus des Pyrénées françaises, written by Edouard Timbal-Lagrave and Eugène Bucquoy, is translated into aglitsky as a pair of iambic couplets:

So here's the dear child under land,
will not reflect her beauty and
besides the Great, no alter dark,
the pure ray, fronts elected mark.

La Henriade Voltaire converted to dactelic tetrameter:

gently and tell him to whisper: “I'm not dead."

Le Miroir des simples âmes, an old French poem written by Marguerite Porete, was translated into modern French before us, and we converted it into a haiku:

“Well, gentle soul”, said
Love, “say whatever you please,
for I want to hear. ”

More examples and technical issues are reflected in the report .

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/105801/

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