Machine Translation

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Jan 25, 2019 - Replace metaphor by simile + meaning. 5. Convert metaphor into meaning. 6. Delete metaphor if redundant. 7. Same metaphor + meaning ...

How hard can it be? A closer look at how human translators and machine translation software handle metaphor in translation CALT workshop

25 January 2019

Dr. A.G. (Lettie) Dorst

@agdorst

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Our intuitions – translation, literature Sunday morning at eight thirty he awoke with a mouth dry as cork. The first thing he remembered was lying on his bed the day before, to rest, then realized that this was Sunday. (human) Sunday morning he woke up at half past eight with a dry mouth. He first remembered that he had been resting on his bed the previous day and then thought it was Sunday. (DeepL)

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Our intuitions – translation & metaphor

1. Is translating metaphor difficult? 2. Is translating metaphor different? 3. Is it more difficult for humans (HT) or machines (MT)

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In Google we trust… or not.

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Machine Translation – the basics (in a nutshell) • Rule-based Machine Translation (RBMT) • Statistical Machine Translation (SMT) • Neural Machine Translation (NMT)

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Metaphor in Discourse VU University Amsterdam, 2005-2010 • 4 PhD students analysing linguistic metaphor in 4 registers - fiction (Dorst, 2011), news (Krennmayr, 2011), conversation (Kaal, 2012), academic discourse (Herrmann, 2013)

• 4 x 50,000 words sampled from British National Corpus VU Amsterdam Metaphor Corpus Online: http://www.vismet.org/metcor/documentation/home.html  Manual identification of linguistic metaphor forms, functions, frequencies

 Cross-register comparison Discover the world at Leiden University

Metaphor in Fiction * Fiction most metaphors? No! - Academic texts 18.6% - News texts 16.4%  Fiction 11.9% - Conversation 7.7% * Fiction filled with new and original metaphor? No! - He was angry and bitter.

- I have a heavy burden. - I’m fifty and have a long way to go. - It was another golden morning. Discover the world at Leiden University

https://research.vu.nl/ ws/portalfiles/portal/4 2200804/complete+di ssertation.pdf https://pure.uva.nl/ws /files/17722639/Thesis .pdf

Metaphor in Translation Studies • Translatability of metaphor - Equivalence assumption

• Techniques for translating metaphor - E.g., Newmark (1988), Schäffner (2004) - Prescriptive and descriptive

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Metaphor translation - Newmark (1981; 1988) Types of metaphor: dead – cliché – stock – adapted – recent – original Translation procedures: 1.

Same image in TL and SL

2.

Replace SL image by standard TL image

3.

Replace metaphor by simile (same image)

4.

Replace metaphor by simile + meaning

5.

Convert metaphor into meaning

6.

Delete metaphor if redundant

7.

Same metaphor + meaning

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Metaphor translation - Schäffner (2004) Translatability is not a matter of linguistic expressions but of underlying conceptual metaphors (CM) 1. Same CM 2. Same overarching CM 3. Different aspects of same CM 4. Different CM

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Student Metaphor Translations • They don’t see them • They see them but don’t understand them • They see them and they understand them but they make very strange decisions

 Lack of language proficiency?

 Lack of genre knowledge?  Lack stylistic competence?

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Questions How aware are student translators of metaphor? Which metaphors are they aware of? When do they become aware of them?

 Which metaphors are difficult to translate? When? Why? For whom?  Influence of word class, conventionality, function, genre, register?  Correlation between metaphor form and translation procedures?  Correlation between metaphor function and translation procedures?

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Google & conventional metaphors in fiction • The plane lurches into motion. It bounces alarmingly as it gathers speed. […] The plane climbs reluctantly, one set of wings dipping drunkenly.

• Het vliegtuig komt in beweging. Het botst schrikbarend terwijl het snelheid verzamelt. […] Het vliegtuig klimt met tegenzin, een stel vleugels dronken dronken. • It had got up Rufus’s nose a bit, though Adam had a perfect right to do this. It was his, all of it, and it went to his head rather. • Hij had Rufus’ neus een beetje opgestoken, hoewel Adam het volste recht had om dit te doen. Het was de zijne, en hij ging eerder naar zijn hoofd. • The raw materials might have been there before – indeed, hadn’t it been she, Arlene, who had spotted them? But the transformation of a leggy young filly into a sleekly beautiful racehorse had been her doing. • De grondstoffen waren er misschien al eerder geweest – inderdaad, was zij het niet, Arlene, die hen had gezien? Maar de transformatie van een langbenig jong merrieveulen in een slanke, mooie renpaard was haar aan het doen. Discover the world at Leiden University

The Curious Case of the Sentence He never walks very fast, and I can see how if he don’t get a move on she might freeze him and shatter him all to hell by just looking Google:

• ze zou hem kunnen vernietigen [him could destroy] • ze zou hem kunnen versplinteren [him could splinter] door alleen maar te kijken • ze zou hem kunnen bevriezen en hem allemaal in de steek laten [him all abandon] door alleen maar te kijken

• Ik kan zien hoe als hij geen beweging krijgt, ze hem zou kunnen bevriezen en hem allemaal in de steek zou laten [him all would abandon] door alleen maar te kijken. • Hij loopt nooit erg snel, en ik kan zien hoe als hij geen beweging krijgt, ze hem zou kunnen bevriezen en hem helemaal in de waan zou kunnen helpen [him completely in the delusion could help] door alleen maar te kijken. Discover the world at Leiden University

However… • At least once a fortnight a corps of caterers came down with several hundred feet of canvas and enough coloured lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby’s enormous garden. On buffet tables, garnished with glistening horsd’oeuvres, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold. In the main hall a bar with a real brass rail was set up, and stocked with gins and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that most of his female guests were too young to know one from another. By seven o’clock the orchestra has arrived, no thin five-piece affair, but a whole pitful of oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols and cornets and piccolos, and low and high drums. The last swimmers have come in from the beach now and are dressing upstairs; the cars from New York are parked five deep in the drive, and already the halls and salons and verandas are gaudy with primary colours, and hair bobbed in strange new ways, and shawls beyond the dreams of Castile. Discover the world at Leiden University

Broadening the scope • Berman (1985/2012) – the Trials of the Foreign - Deforming tendencies

• Toury (1995/2012) – the Laws of Translation - Translation norms & universals (standardization!)

• Venuti (1995/2008) – the Translator’s Invisibility - Domestication

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962) “Mr. Washington!” She nails him with his mop poised over the bucket, freezes him there. “Will you come here a moment!” […] He puts his hands in his pockets and starts shuffling down the hall to her. He never walks very fast, and I can see how if he don’t get a move on she might freeze him and shatter him all to hell by just looking; all the hate and fury and frustration she was planning to use on McMurphy is beaming out down the hall at the black boy, and he can feel it blast against

him like a blizzard wind, slowing him more than ever. He has to lean into it, pulling his arms around him. Frost forms in his hair and eyebrows. He leans farther forward, but his steps are getting slower; he’ll never make it. Discover the world at Leiden University

Translation decisions • She nails him with his mop poised over the bucket, freezes him there

• Ze priemt hem vast aan de grond met zijn zwabber hangend boven de emmer en bevriest hem daar. • Haar blik priemt hem vast op zijn plek, met zijn dweil zwevend boven de emmer. [deleted]

• Ze laat hem staan als aan de grond genageld, met z’n dweil zwevend boven de emmer. [deleted] • Ze nagelt hem met zijn zwabber boven de emmer aan de grond, verstijfd staat hij daar.

• Ze nagelt hem met zijn zwabber zevend boven de emmer, waar hij verstijft. • [deleted] [Door haar geroep] blijft hij als bevroren met zijn dweil boven de emmer staan. • [deleted] Hij bevriest, met zijn mop boven de emmer.

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Metaphorical mind style in translation ‘Freezes’ translated as ‘stops’

‘Freezes’ translated as ‘paralyzes’ or ‘turns to stone’

 linguistic approach

 conceptual approach  communicative-stylistic approach Dorst (2018) Discover the world at Leiden University

Translation motivations students • I could not find a Dutch translation that would suit this piece of text so I omitted it partly in my translation. • The nailing down idea is not very nice in Dutch, so I decided to go with a more explicit verb. • “ze verlamt hem” -- In Dutch we don’t say that someone is ‘bevroren’ in a pose, but ‘verlamd’. You can be paralyzed by fear, not able to move. This is similar to the English frozen. • I deleted the metaphor and used a simile in the TT instead, because the literal “bevriezen” would not fit into the text here as it does in other parts of the text. • I left this one out, and combined this sentence with the next one, creating the same image. Discover the world at Leiden University

Man vs Machine What did the MTs do? Google: Ze spijkert hem met zijn mop in de aanslag over de emmer, bevriest hem daar.

DeepL: Ze spijkert hem met zijn dweil in evenwicht over de emmer, bevriest hem daar. Systran: Ze nagelt hem met zijn zwabber die over de emmer in evenwicht wordt gehouden, daar bevriest hem.

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ST De Aanslag – Harry Mulisch Ver weg naderde het geluid van motorfietsen; ook dat van een auto. ‘Kom binnen, mam,’ zei Anton. ‘Ja… Ik doe de deuren dicht.’ Zij beheerste zich, maar hij hoorde aan haar stem dat ook zij aan de rand stond van iets, dat zij niet in haar macht had. Het leek wel of hij de enige was, die zijn verstand bij elkaar hield - en dat moest natuurlijk ook, als vliegenier. (p. 34) • Ver weg naderde het geluid van motorfietsen; ook dat van een auto. ‘Kom binnen, mam,’ zei Anton. ‘Ja… Ik doe de deuren dicht.’

>> Far way approached the sound of motorcycles; also that of a car. ‘Come inside, mum,’ said Anton. ‘Yes…I do the doors shut.’ • Zij beheerste zich, maar hij hoorde aan haar stem dat ook zij aan de rand stond van iets, dat zij niet in haar macht had. >> She controlled herself, but he heard from her voice that also she on the edge stood of something, that she not in her power had. • Het leek wel of hij de enige was, die zijn verstand bij elkaar hield - en dat moest natuurlijk ook, als vliegenier. >> It seemed so if he the only one was that his wits/mind with each other held – and that must naturally also, as an aviator.

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TTs De Aanslag – MT or human translator? • Far away was approaching the sound of motorcycles; also that of a car. ‘Come in, mom,’ said Anton. ‘Yes ... I do close the doors.’ They restrained themselves, but he heard to her voice that they, too, stood on the edge of something, that they are not in its power had. It seemed as if he was the only one, which his mind held together-and that had to, of course, as Aviator. (Google) • Far away the sound of motorcycles was approaching; also that of a car. ‘Come in, Mom,’ Anton said. ‘Yes.... I will close the doors.’ She controlled herself, but he heard from her voice that she too was on the edge of something she did not have in her power. It seemed as if he was the only one who kept his mind together - and of course he had to, as an aviator. (DeepL) • Motorcycles sounded in the distance; also, he heard the noise of a car. “Come in, Mama,” said Anton. “Yes, I’ll close the doors.” He could tell from her voice that she stood on the edge of something she could not master. It seemed as if he was the only one who kept his wits, and that, of course, was as it should be, for a future aviator. (human)

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ST De Avonden – Gerard Reve • Zondagmorgen werd hij om half negen wakker met een kurkdroge mond. Hij herinnerde zich eerst, dat hij de vorige dag ’s middags op bed had liggen rusten en bedacht toen, dat het zondag was. (p. 134) Sunday morning he woke up at half past eight with a dry mouth. He first remembered that he had been resting on his bed the previous day and then thought it was Sunday. (DeepL) On Sunday morning he woke up at half past eight with a cork-dry mouth. He remembered first that he had rested in bed the previous day in the afternoon and then remembered that it was Sunday. (Google) Sunday morning at eight thirty he awoke with a mouth dry as cork. The first thing he remembered was lying on his bed the day before, to rest, then realized that this was Sunday. (human)

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Where to go next? - Gain more insight into what MTs do with metaphors and other stylistic features and when/why they make errors - Test whether readers can reliably identify MT vs student vs professional translations  identify norms, expectations, misconceptions - Explore whether MT + post-editing is a viable option for particular types of literary works

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Where to go next? • Do students and MTs struggle with the same metaphors? - Can we use student data to improve MTs metaphor translation? - Can we use MTs to improve students’ metaphor translation?

- Can we integrate MT into the (student) literary translator’s toolkit in an ethically responsible and empowering way?

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Thank you! [email protected]

@agdorst

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References • Berman, Antoine. 2012. “Translation and the Trials of the Foreign.” Translated by Lawrence Venuti. In The Translation Studies Reader, 3rd ed., edited by Lawrence Venuti, 240-253. Abingdon: Routlegde. • Newmark, Peter. 1988. A Textbook of Translation. New York: Prentice Hall. • Schäffner, Christina. 2004 “Metaphor and Translation: Some Implications of a Cognitive Approach.” Journal of Pragmatics 36: 1253–1269. • Steen, Gerard, Dorst, Aletta G., Herrmann, J. Berenike., Kaal, Anna A., Krennmayr, Tina., and Trijntje Pasma. 2010. A Method for Linguistic Metaphor Identification: From MIP to MIPVU. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. • Venuti, Lawrence, ed. 2012. The Translation Studies Reader, 3rd ed. Abingdon: Routledge. • Krennmayr, T. (2011). Metaphor in newspapers. LOT Dissertation Series, vol. 276, Utrecht. • Herrmann, J.B. (2013). Metaphor in academic discourse. LOT Dissertation Series, vol. 333. Utrecht. • Reijnierse, W.G. (2017). The value of deliberate metaphor. LOT Dissertation Series, vol. 469. Utrecht. • Dorst, A.G. (2011). Metaphor in Fiction: Language, thought, communication. Oisterwijk: Boxpress. • Kaal, A.A. (2012). Metaphor in conversation. Oisterwijk: Boxpress. • Dorst, A.G. (2018). “Translating metaphorical mind style: machineryand ice metaphors in Ken Kesey’s One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. Perspectives. https://doi.org/10.1080/0907676X.2018.1556707

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