National Translation Mission project director Prof V Saratchandran Nair said on Wednesday they are preparing a Machine Translation System (MTS) that would instantly translate texts from vernacular Indian languages to English.
He was speaking after inaugurating a workshop on ‘Preparation of Glossary for History and Political Science in Kannada,’ at Kuvempu Institute of Kannada Studies here.
He said many students, who do their schooling and pre-university education in vernacular languages face a lot of difficulties when they enter college as most of the reading materials they require are available only in English. “Hence, they face difficulties in grasping concepts. In view of this, we have decided to take up this project,” he said.
“Scientific and technical terminologies are being developed in 69 disciplines in 22 languages. As many as 25,000 to 30,000 lexicons have been identified in each subject.Machine translation tools are being evolved and people are being trained to become translators,” he said. He said they were trying to build an online translation system which people can use sitting at home.
Nair said at present such instant translation machines in all disciplines are available only in a few languages like Chinese, Japanese and Arabic.
“In India, its only in Tamil that materials are available in all disciplines, while the Oriya language has it for 49 disciplines. There are no science materials available in Santhali, Manipuri and Konkani languages,” he added.
Muzaffar H Assadi, Political Science and member of NTM, said, there are three lacuna in translations--knowledge, intellectual and discourse-- which needs to be filled. He said the translations of political science or history texts should be done by people who are well versed in the same.
Explaining the challenges in translation, he said many texts written by famous political scientists were still not available in regional languages due to difficulties in translating it.
“For instance, it is difficult to retain the nuances in Devanuru Mahadeva’s novel ‘Kusumabaale’ which is written using a colloquial tongue,” he said.