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I sometimes resort to Google translate when I get stuck in my reading of
books/articles in languages I don't know so well, and I have found that it
is virtually useless to translate between two languages none of which is
English. So much for English as an interlanguage! All the more surprising
that Chinese and even French can perform so badly with English at the other
end.

However I wonder if the difference in results for Chinese and Vietnamese is
due to the fact that Vietnamese marks word boundaries while Chinese does
not.

/bpj


Den 23 jun 2017 11:31 skrev "Raymond Brown" <[log in to unmask]>:

> I'm still not sure what Thunderbird's doing to my mails.  I hope this one
> is not unduly mangled  :)
>
>
> On 23/06/2017 05:07, Tim Smith wrote:
>
>> From what little I know about both languages, Vietnamese is a much more
>> nearly "pure isolating" language than Chinese (at least if, by Chinese, you
>> mean modern Mandarin).
>>
>
> Yes, it is my understanding that Vietnames is (almost) purely isolating,
> whereas modern Chinese is not.  I recall several years ago there were
> discussions as to whether English is more isolating than modern Mandarin or
> not.    :)
>
> Also (and perhaps more important in terms of its susceptibility to
>> automated parsing), Vietnamese has very consistently VO, head-modifier
>> syntax, whereas Mandarin has very typologically mixed syntax.
>>
>
> That's also my understanding of Vietnamese.  Certainly modern Chinese (and
> probably earlier Chineses) have typologically mixed syntax.
>
>
>
>> -- Tim
>>
>> On 6/22/2017 4:46 PM, Gary Shannon wrote:
>>
>>> I was thinking about creating a pure isolating language, and was curious
>>> about how Chinese puts sentences together. I suppose I could get a
>>> textbook
>>> on Chinese grammar, but what I tried turned out to be more fun.
>>>
>>> I took a sentence from A Princess of Mars and ran it through Google
>>> Translate. H
>>>
>>
>
> I recall a few years back finding an article in French as I was googling;
> being impatient I used Google translate - the result was scarcely
> intelligible.  So I patiently read the French which made perfect sense.
>  Hopefully things have improved a bit since then.
>
> I found Gary's results amusing - but I wasn't surprised      :)
>
>
> Ray
>