# [INDOLOGY] Google Translate for Sanskrit

Fri May 13 08:01:00 UTC 2022

```Dear All,

Here are a few further experiments that illustrate other issues :

Input: सत्यमेव जयते
Output: Truth always triumphs

Input: Truth always triumphs
Output: सत्यं सदा विजयते

Input: सत्यं सदा विजयते
Output: Truth always triumphs

Input: C'est la réalité qui triomphe
Output: Reality wins

Input: C'est la réalité qui triomphe.
Output: It is reality that triumphs.

(The only difference between the last two inputs is the final period.)

Input: Reality prevails.
Input: La réalité l'emporte.

Input: Reality alone prevails.
Output: Seule la réalité prévaut.

Input: Seule la réalité prévaut.
Output: Only reality prevails.

And, for fun, Prop. 12.21 from Brahmagupta's Braahmasphu.tasiddhaanta.

Input: स्थूलफलं त्रिचतुर्भुजबाहुप्रतिबाहुयोगदलघातः।
भुजयोगार्धचतुष्टयभुजोनघातात्पदं सूक्ष्मम् ॥

Output: The gross fruit is the three-four-arm arm-counter-arm combination team attack.
The subtle step is from the impact of the four and a half arms of the Yoga of the arms.

A correct translation is as follows (the four lines correspond to the four parts of this Arya verse):
A crude value [indeed] of the area of a triquadrilateral
Is the product of the half-sums of opposite sides ;
Of a group consisting of four half-sums of the sides, from which
The sides have been subtracted [in turn], the root of the product is the refined [value].

NB: There are quite a few technical terms here; taking some of them in their ordinary meaning leads to gibberish. "Pada" here is the square root (because the foot of a tree is its root). Yoga is here the sum. "Dala" is the half (literally, "broken (in half)"). A triquadrilateral is the figure obtained from a trilateral by adding a fourth vertex on its circumcircle. Tricaturbhuja is a neologism introduced by Brahmagupta that we translated by a neologism because there is no corresponding notion in English.

Thus, Google Translate seems adequate at the स्थूल level, but may miss the सूक्ष्म.

Reverting to general issues from an Indological or mathematical (or computer science) viewpoint, I would suggest offhand the following for discussion:

(i) is the algorithm public or not? (Probably not, but who knows?)

(ii) is there a public algorithm with comparable performance?

(iii) what is the knowledge base (or training set in the sense of neural networks) of known algorithms?

(iv) a possibly related issue is that there does not seem to be any equivalent for Indian languages of Chinese databases such as ctext.org for instance, that include many tools in addition to searching. For Sanskrit and Tamil, we are grateful to have what you can find on
https://indology.info/external-resources/
including
http://gretil.sub.uni-goettingen.de/gretil.html
https://titus.uni-frankfurt.de/indexf.htm

etc.

For Sanskrit morphology and, to some extent, parsing, the situation is much better : https://sanskrit.inria.fr/DICO/
But such tools do not seem to have been integrated into other databases (so that, for instance,  hovering the mouse over a word would suggest its grammatical nature, or suggest meanings -- such things exist in Chinese). This may require the text input into the database to integrate a modicum of grammatical analysis and therefore, what amounts to an implicit commentary. This may nonetheless be appropriate for research journals that could provide enriched versions of papers. Automated translation always requires some form of semantic input anyway, except for the crudest examples.

Best regards,

On Thu, 12 May 2022 16:48:48 -0400
Elliot Stern via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Aleksandar’s comment is spot on:
>
>
>
> Elliot M. Stern
> 552 South 48th Street
> emstern1948 at gmail.com
> 267-240-8418
>
> > On May 12, 2022, at 1:45 PM, Uskokov, Aleksandar via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
> >
> > It will be a while before it becomes a philosopher --
> >
> > Aleksandar Uskokov
> > Lector in Sanskrit
> > South Asian Studies Council, Yale University
> > 203-432-1972 | aleksandar.uskokov at yale.edu <mailto:aleksandar.uskokov at yale.edu>
> >
> > Office Hours Sign-up: https://calendly.com/aleksandar-uskokov <https://calendly.com/aleksandar-uskokov>
> > From: INDOLOGY <indology-bounces at list.indology.info <mailto:indology-bounces at list.indology.info>> on behalf of Madhav Deshpande via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info <mailto:indology at list.indology.info>>
> > Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2022 1:31 PM
> > To: Dominik Wujastyk <wujastyk at gmail.com <mailto:wujastyk at gmail.com>>
> > Cc: Indology <indology at list.indology.info <mailto:indology at list.indology.info>>
> > Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Google Translate for Sanskrit
> >
> > This is Google Translator for the first verse of Meghadūta:
> >
> > "Someone is neglected by the teacher of separation from his lover:
> > Shapenastangmitamahima varshabhogyaena bhartu:
> > The yaksha bathed Janaka's daughter in the holy waters
> > I lived in the hermitages of Ramagiri among the lush shady trees."
> >
> > GT could not figure out the long compounds, and "guru" got translated as "teacher." The syntax of the verse is also missed.
> >
> > Professor Emeritus, Sanskrit and Linguistics
> > University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
> > Senior Fellow, Oxford Center for Hindu Studies
> >
> > [Residence: Campbell, California, USA]
> >
> >
> > On Thu, May 12, 2022 at 10:17 AM Madhav Deshpande <mmdesh at umich.edu <mailto:mmdesh at umich.edu>> wrote:
> > <image.png>
> > Professor Emeritus, Sanskrit and Linguistics
> > University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
> > Senior Fellow, Oxford Center for Hindu Studies
> >
> > [Residence: Campbell, California, USA]
> >
> >
> > On Thu, May 12, 2022 at 10:16 AM Dominik Wujastyk via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info <mailto:indology at list.indology.info>> wrote:
> > It's quite remarkable:
> > <image.png>
> >
> >
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>

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