Machine-translation made easy

For those that like machine-translation, the past years have been really exciting. Thanks to the Google’s machine translation API, there was an increasing number of fancy machine-translation gadgets that brought machine-translation to the user’s desktop in a very comfortable way.

Unfortunately Google no more offers theire machine-translation service for free for programmers. So  we can say goodbye to all the nice and free machine-translation gadgets that we used.

As of today I don’t know any free machine-translation gadget that I could install on my desktop.

Perhaps I should revive the WinXLator project. WinXLator was a machine-translation gadget that was very simple to use. This gadget was based on Apertium machine-translation technology. The biggest benefit of WinXLator over Google translator was that it didn’t require Internet connection to work; all the files needed were installed on the PC.

WinXLator — the free machine-translation app — was released 1½ years ago but withdrawn later. WinXLator couldn’t compete with the Google-based machine-translation gadgets. The bottle-neck was the limited number of supported language-pairs.

But perhaps we should give WinXLator a second try. And also give users a free machine-translation gadget?

More info:

Äänestää and Other Finnish Verbs

Last Sunday there was president elections in Finland.

The Finnish verb for vote is äänestää. This verb wasn’t in the Verbix database, so it was added yesterday along with a number of other verbs. Although the verb wasn’t included in the Verbix database, the on-line conjugator conjugated the verb correctly. Just the warning was a bit annoying for this common verb.

Another verb that wasn’t there in the database until yesterday was ystävystyä ‘to become a friend’. This verb will probably remind about itself on 14.2. that is called ystävänpäivä ‘Valentine’s Day’ in Finland.

Links to Follow:

The Finnish Verb Nauttia

The Finnish verb nauttia ‘to enjoy’ doesn’t have any equivalent among the closest language relatives.

The stem of this verb is an old Germanic loan, with a reconstructed word stem *nautijan- ‘to possess, to enjoy’. This stem is represented in today’s Swedish verb nöta ‘to spend’, with an older meaning ‘to enjoy’.

In written language the verb nauttia has been since the XVI century.

More:

Swedish in Finland

Finland, areas with predominantly Swedish speaking population
Swedish speaking areas in Finland

Swedish language is a Germanic language that is spoken in Sweden and in Finland. In Finland, the Swedish language is the second official language. Swedish is spoken on coastal areas in Finland.

There are four main variants of the Swedish in Finland as shown on the map. The spoken variations differ quite a lot from each other, but as a written language they are all the same. The written language is the same in Finland and in Sweden.

Links to go:

The Finnish Optative Mood

There is a less known mood in Finnish, the optative.

This mood is mainly archaic, and it appears mainly in poetry.

Although the Finnish optative mood is not used today, it has borrowed the 3rd person to the Finnish imperative mood.

Here are some samples:

 

How to Use the Spanish Verb Conjugation Book?

There’s an “Easter Egg” in Verbix 9 for Windows.

An Easter Egg in software is a hidden feature that is not documented. In Verbix 9 the hidden feature creates a Spanish Verb Conjugation book and saves it as PDF. This article describes how to use the book. As a matter of fact, this book is used exactly in the same way as any verb conjugation book that you can buy in a bookstore!

1. First look up the verb from the verb index.

As in many verb conjugation books, the Spanish Verb Conjugation book created in Verbix for Windows 9.0 has an index of verbs.

Let’s find for example ‘ser’ (English ‘to be’).

 

2. Check the verb model that the verb refers to.

In the index the verb ‘ser’ is marked with number 1. This number refers to the verb conjugation table 1. Now that we browse the book to verb conjugation table 1, we find the verb ser conjugated in all tenses.

As in Verbix, irregular forms are displayed in red and regular forms are in black.

About the Spanish Verb Conjugation Book

The book has an index of 38,395 verbs.

The book comprises 231 pages.

Color coding clearly shows additional information of every verb form:

  • regular forms in black
  • irregular forms in red
  • forms that have changes in spelling due to orthographic rules are in blue
  • archaic forms are in purple
  • non-used (hypothetical) forms are in grey

The book is free!

 

Runes in Finland?

I was looking for something — can’t really know for what — when I discovered a short article that I had teared off from some newspaper.

The article tells about a stone with runic inscriptions that has been found in Eksymäjärvi, near Oulu in Finland.

The article itself didn’t tell more than where it was found, who owned the stone, and that it had been sent to an archeologist. I didn’t find anything more related to this stone by googling today.

I look forward in hearing more about the stone. And of course information on when it was written and in what language.

More about runes: