Monday, November 16, 2009
So I'm taking this quasi-required machine translation class. And we have to do a homework assignment which incorporates a chunk of software written by someone else. Software which does not handle non-English alphabets well. Or languages with lots of endings.
I assume that the prof will have us play with this for a week or two and then move on to some real software. I mean, no foreign alphabets? What is this, 1993?
Working out a system to substitute English letters for another alphabet is possible, but it's a pain, and it's not the kind of pain you learn something from. But making the software work with some language that tacks lots of different endings onto the same word? Now there's a challenge.
So what's a language that uses the English alphabet ... and lots of endings ...
Klingon, that's what! So I cheerfully grab a used copy of the Klingon Dictionary, work out some rules for the weird grammar, and turn in the homework.
Then I learn that we will be doing this project all semester.
So as punishment for being a smartass I am doing this absolutely enormous machine translation project. And since the prof didn't really tell us how much he expected, I brought the overkill in a big way and have been turning in files that are roughly the size of the rest of the classes' combined.
On the bright side, if a Klingon ever comes up to you and hands you something to translate, you know who to call.