KSK

First Flight (Chapter 98 - Written in the Starlight)

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, KSK said:

I'll be very curious to see that program in action!

Don't get too excited! By now I have:

* Loaded my current lists into python dictionaries. My original format was pretty inconsistent so I had to write a converter. The converter has built-in warning messages though!

* Seperated the input into words. It seperates at each space, hypen, newline and tab character.

* An attempt at translating individual words, starting by trying out all pronouns until none fit, then trying out all nouns and verbs (it even find the right person), then continuing to try all suffixes until none fit.

 

This procedure isn't perfect, as your mention of Boladakhat demonstrates: The output comes out as 

-place of accomplishing-<adakhat> 

It gets stuck when there is a suffix in the middle (or possibly Bol is used as a verb here, but since it already took that as a noun it doesn't even look, and it isn't in my file)

 

Edit: the <> means that this part was untranslatable

Edited by superstrijder15

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13 hours ago, KSK said:

By tomorrow, Mr Lenger, we will end this war.

And thus the road to hell is paved with the best of intentions. :o

I’m picking up an eerie thematic parallel with a certain nearly-complete series on tonight. :wink:

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Age of Fire...  I didn't think when I first coined that term that there'd be quite this many different forms of fire going on.  Rocket fire, gun fire, war causing fires, and now the threat of nuclear fire...  For something with so much fire in it, the sky is dark with smoke.

Still a good read, and now I'm caught up again.

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Cheers Madrias.

Yeah, I didn't think there would be this much fire either. For what it's worth I can promise that at least one chapter in the next four will be rather more uplifting. Or at least - it is in my head. We'll see what happens when it gets onto the page but I'm optimistic. :) 

 

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Thanks for all the likes, folks. 

Next chapter is planned out. I don’t think it’s much of a spoiler to say that it’s largely going to be set at Site D - and my original outline turned out not to be consistent with previous Site D chapters, so needed some reworking.

For the better I think. *touches wood*.

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Didn't know this forum had likes. Your story got my first KSP forum like. The first two in fact.

I read every new chapter as soon  as I have the chance, and when the story is all done, I'll read it all again from the beginning.

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55 minutes ago, GalFisk said:

Didn't know this forum had likes. Your story got my first KSP forum like. The first two in fact.

I read every new chapter as soon  as I have the chance, and when the story is all done, I'll read it all again from the beginning.

You will find few threads more worthy of a first like than this. :D

Although, I mean, well, Don’t Click This is pretty spectacular, but it’s also locked, so...

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17 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

You will find few threads more worthy of a first like than this. :D

Although, I mean, well, Don’t Click This is pretty spectacular, but it’s also locked, so...

Awww, shucks.

I’m glad to have you here @GalFisk - and flattered that you tested your new button-mashing powers on this thread!

On a somewhat related note, I’m getting a ‘ninjaed by reality’ feeling after reading this BBC news article. 

From the article (titled: Wood wide web: Trees' social networks are mapped):

Research has shown that beneath every forest and wood there is a complex underground web of roots, fungi and bacteria helping to connect trees and plants to one another.”

Just like an MRI scan of the brain helps us to understand how the brain works, this global map of the fungi beneath the soil helps us to understand how global ecosystems work," said Prof Crowther.

"What we find is that certain types of microorganisms live in certain parts of the world, and by understanding that we can figure out how to restore different types of ecosystems and also how the climate is changing."

Slightly discombobulated to find that some of my sci-fi musings about the Kerm turn out to be at least somewhat rooted (oh, I slay myself) in actual science.

:o

 

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Alright guys, I think my code works. Now I need to test it for further errors or stuff that the database misses (and maybe make the output sound more like English). For example I think that I miss quite a few words in "Erbabar-beldaonerba ebda berot pilla", since it comes out as "-<Erbabar> --accomplisher of-<daonerba> --to be(they) -<berot> -<pilla>"

Also, here is the translation of "Jebediah ebad belonmansatha:": "-<Jebediah> --to be(we) --accomplisher of-dependence on-biggest-deed or task-(plural)". Pretty close to the "Jebediah, we are the persons on which the biggest actions depend" that was meant, right?

 

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Posted (edited)

That's pretty darn close! 

Indulge me - try running Jebediah eb belad-onmansatha through your translator. That should produce something a bit closer still.

Spoiler

 

There was a slight typo in your input sentence. Your program actually translated Jebediah ebad perfectly - it just doesn't make a lot of sense because the subject and verb aren't in agreement. Likewise bel (in belonmansatha) wasn't conjugated correctly - you have it in first person singular where it should in the third person singular - belad.

However it's more than possible that the mistake was originally mine and that you got a duff copy of the sentence from me via the comments,, or that the version in the story is something I've been back to edit after the event. I've checked the relevant chapter though, and the current version is 'Jebediah eb belad-onmansatha' 

 

 

Edited by KSK

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-<Jebediah> --to be(I) --accomplisher of-<ad> --dependence on-biggest-deed or task-(plural)

It interprets bel as a noun, because it isn't in the database as a verb. After adding it as 'to accomplish', I got this: 

-<Jebediah> --to be(I) --to accomplish(we) --dependence on-biggest-deed or task-(plural)

 

The translations aren't even near google translate in 2015 levels yet, but I think it looks at lot at the way writers write the way a new translater still learning a language would talk, which is nice too.

And indeed, this is all fresh from my google docs document, which has a tiny issue of not being updated with things you updated in chapters, and missing information if I didn't copy everything diligently.

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Posted (edited)

Yep! I can also see it being helpful as a grammar checker for me - if it comes out with a more or less accurate translation then that's a good sign that I haven't mangled my own fictional language. Or - as was the case above - if it's a bit off, I should probably check my working. :) 

Not sure how you'd write this into your program but bel, bal and on aren't verbs so much as case markers. I may have the terminology a bit muddled (I'm not a real linguist) but they signify a property of the noun they're attached to, rather than an action performed on that noun. So belad-onmansatha unpacks into belad-on-mansatha, or even further into belad-on-man-satha. 

Satha - noun(plural) - deeds
man - adjective - biggest, largest, greatest
on - case marker signifying dependence or reliance on the noun.
bel - case marker signifying that the subject is being used by a third party to perform the noun.
belad - third person singular version of bel, signifying that the subject is being used by us to perform the noun.

Edited by KSK

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Aah, my division might be a bit different than that of a proper linguist. For my program, a verb is something that is conjugated via the standard conjugation scheme(s), a root which has a number of possible endings which carry slightly different meanings in a standardized way. A prefix or suffix is something that can typically only exist attached to a root word, whether verb or noun, it is the equivalent of the adjectives in English. A noun is a catch-all for stuff that can occur as the root of a word but isn't conjugatable.

In this scheme, things that cannot stand on their own would typically be a prefix, but then again they can apparently also be conjugated so they are a verb. Annoying things these.

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Posted (edited)

Hmmm. I know next to nothing about coding so have no feel for how feasible this is, but it might be easier to use the standard definitions of verb and noun, locate those in the sentence, and then treat everything else as a modifier that can be applied to either or both of those categories? 

Oh - while we're on the topic, I'm thinking aban would be a suitable verb affix denoting tense.  Word order applies (borrowing your idea!) - so when used as a prefix it denotes the future tense, when used as a suffix it denotes the past tense. (Which says something about my kerbals, I think - the future is positive whereas the past is negative) So, for example:

Jeb binr Elton    -  Jeb understands Elton.

Jeb aban-erbr Bill-  Jeb is going to speak to Bill.

And some time later... :) 

Jeb Bill binr-aban  - Jeb did not understand Bill.

It's a bit 'See Spot. See Spot run. Run, Spot, run.' but it's starting to get to the point where we can string some actual sentences together here.

Edited by KSK

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@KSK What are the rules regarding adjectives and adverbs in Old Kerba? Actually, do we have a complete description of the grammar of Old Kerba lying around somewhere? I ask because I'm interested in determining if Old Kerba can be described using a context-free grammar (which would imply all kinds of things about how easy or otherwise it is to parse by machine).

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Posted (edited)

Good question, 

The only adjectives we've seen so far (I think) are the comparators min and man for smallest and biggest (roughly speaking - in English that could translate to various similar words depending on context). Usual prefix/suffix rules apply and add shades of meaning:

min-satha    -             smallest deeds
man-satha   -             greatest deeds
balskila-man -            not the biggest knife 

The last is slightly pejorative in the same way that one might describe a person as 'not the sharpest tool in the box'.

So, all we have so far is that adjectives are modifiers that attach to the noun. I guess adverbs could be modifiers that attach to the verb, although I haven't really played with that to see whether it makes verbs too cumbersome to parse. Adverbs might need to be a separate word, and where an adverb is capable of an opposite, it's placement relative to the verb would indicate whether that opposite applies. Adverbs will also need a very clear marker syllable I think (similar to the ly suffix in English, so that they can be easily picked out).

Oh - and a new noun has just occurred to me.  Mus   -   which translates to dot or speck.

As in:  "That's not a mun - that's a minmus of <redacted> on your emulsion!"

For better or for worse, the nickname stuck. :) 

Edited by KSK

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1 hour ago, KSK said:

Oh - and a new noun has just occurred to me.  Mus   -   which translates to dot or speck.

As in:  "That's not a mun - that's a minmus of <redacted> on your emulsion!"

For better or for worse, the nickname stuck. :) 

Now that is something impressive, being able to fit a pre-existing name into the developing old Kerba conlang and it making perfect sense (if I understood the linguistics discussion correctly, seeing that makes me realise how little I understand this field).

AviosAdku

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2 hours ago, AviosAdku said:

if I understood the linguistics discussion correctly, seeing that makes me realise how little I understand this field

Don't think I do understand anything! 

13 hours ago, KSK said:

Hmmm. I know next to nothing about coding so have no feel for how feasible this is, but it might be easier to use the standard definitions of verb and noun, locate those in the sentence, and then treat everything else as a modifier that can be applied to either or both of those categories? 

I could try to find the verb and noun first, but that would require a completly different approach from what I have now. Let my try to explain what my program does:

I take the input string, cut it into words at the spaces(1), then try to parse each word. With each word, I start by comparing its beginning to each verb root(2). If I find the right one, I take out the root and add it to output, then see if the next fits any of the verb endings, and add its translation to the output as well(3). Then it does step (2) with nouns again, and then it tries to find prefixes and suffixes. The program also saves whether we already found a verb or noun in this word, for purposes of negation of pre and suffixes. Using this and the technique from (2), the system then tries to find any prefixes. All these steps are repeated until after a full attempt there is no change, then the remainder is put into output is tagged as untranslatable and we continue to the next word(4).

for example: "Jebediah ebad belonmansatha"

(1) ["Jebediah", "ebad", "belonmansatha"]

(2) "akhat" == "ebad" -> False. "akh" == "eba" -> False. ... "eb" == "eb" -> True: output = output + "to be"

(3) "da" == "ad" -> False. ... "ad" == "ad" -> True: output = output + "(we)" 

(4) we tried everything on "Jebediah", but nothing worked. So output = output + "<Jebediah>"

 

It could also be possible to write a program that tries to fit those nouns and verbs to each bit of a word, but that would require making a thing with nouns only instead of 'everything nounlike'. Let's see if I can get that working...

10 hours ago, IncongruousGoat said:

@KSK What are the rules regarding adjectives and adverbs in Old Kerba? Actually, do we have a complete description of the grammar of Old Kerba lying around somewhere? I ask because I'm interested in determining if Old Kerba can be described using a context-free grammar (which would imply all kinds of things about how easy or otherwise it is to parse by machine).

You seem to know more about this. Do you know how languages are usually parsed by computers?

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To @IncongruousGoat, @superstrijder15,

I’m happy to talk about this as for as long as you’d like and I’m absolutely floored by the idea (not to mention deeply impressed with the results!) that folks are writing translation programs for my fictional language.

With that said, I’m thinking it might be better to move the more technical discussion off-thread and set up a PM conversation between ourselves and anyone else that wants to join in?

I really don’t  want to sideline anyone’s efforts though, so I’d be more than happy to post updates on this thread and, if the relevant authors are okay with it, to post any and all links to Old Kerba dictionaries, translators etc. on the first post, under the list of chapter links.

Sorry if this comes across as a bit mean but I’m just conscious that not everyone reading this thread may be quite as enthusiastic about the nuts-and-bolts of Old Kerba.

A big thanks to those that are though - chatting about this always brightens up my day!

Edited by KSK

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That seems like a good idea. I'll also try to upload my programs to a drive folder, so others can try to do stuff with it.

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