Editing Taiwan divination Verses with controlled Language Strategies: Machine-Translation-Mediated Effective Communication
Chung-ling Shih

Aimed at fostering machine-translation-mediated communication across languages and cultures, this paper proposes editing Taiwan divination verses from the natural into controlled language to improve the comprehensibility of machine translation (MT) outputs. After editing 160 divination verses, and evaluating the semantic and grammatical accuracy of their English MTs that are produced by online Google Translate (a neural MT system for free), the author has identified several controlled language strategies. The lexical strategies include replacement of archaic Chinese words with vernacular Chinese ones, paraphrasing of culture references and insertion of explanations for metaphors. Grammatical strategies are the use of articles, determiners and possessive cases, and syntactical ones include the addition of conjunctions and the restoration of missing subjects or/and objects. The MT outputs of edited and unedited divination verses are compared. The findings show that the English MT outputs of edited texts have greatly improved their semantic, grammatical and syntactic accuracy, so the effectiveness of controlled language strategies is justified. Due to the effectiveness of editing verses with controlled language strategies, the goal of MT-enabled web-based communication across cultures is achieved. The practical significance is also discussed including culture acquisition and cost reduction.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jflcc.v8n2a2