CLEAR (Computational Linguistics Engine And Resources) is a Bible translation platform that builds on the work done by BT ColLab over the past 20 years. The power of the CLEAR platform lies in the alignment of Bible translations to the original Greek and Hebrew source texts. This alignment provides clear visibility into the meaning of the Greek and Hebrew, automates manual processes, improves speed and consistency and increases the overall accuracy of the Bible translation process. The vision for CLEAR is to serve as both an online and offline Bible translation drafting, editing, and alignment tool.
CLEAR functions include:
Auto Alignment – This program automatically aligns a translator’s text with Greek or Hebrew both directly and indirectly through a bridge language. In doing so, it clearly shows how a translator’s translation text corresponds to the source text. The translator can also manually make changes to this alignment.
Auto Suggestion – This program leverages translation memory built from alignment data to suggest translation options based on previous work.
Syntactic Trees – We visually represent the structure and meaning of each sentence using Greek and Hebrew syntactic trees to facilitate easier interpretation and translation.
Dynamic or Formal Equivalent Translations – All translation projects will align at both the word and phrase levels. Formal equivalent translations will have a higher proportion of word to word alignments while more dynamic translations will use phrase to phrase alignments more frequently.
The functionality of the CLEAR prototype is pictured below. Please note the following:
This example uses French as the bridge language and Vietnamese as the target language.
The descriptions to the right are to explain this example and will not be shown
The green and red boxes around certain words below are added below to clarify the example.
The verse displayed is Mathew 1:1.
Manuscript Syntax Tree
Shows the syntactic structure of the verse, where we see noun phrases (np) like “Jesus Christ”, “son of David”, “son of Abraham”, etc. and their relationship to each other: “son of David” and “son of Abraham” are conjoined in apposition with “Jesus Christ”, forming a big np which modifies “genealogy” and so on.
Manuscript Strong Numbers and Gloss
The Strong numbers represent the root forms of each word and the gloss provides the meaning of each word in English.
The original Greek/Hebrew/Aramaic text (Greek when working on the New Testament, Hebrew with the Old Testament)
Links between Manuscript and Bridge Translation
The Bridge translation is the alternative source text for translation when the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic original texts are not the exclusive direct source. It is in a language that the translator knows well (French in the example). It is linked to the Greek text so that we can see that “Voici” is not from Greek and therefore does not have to be translated. On the other hand, “descendance” has two source words in the original Greek. Therefore, we can translate both instances of “son” in the target translation if we choose to, not necessarily following the French way.
The lines link the corresponding words in Greek and the bridge translation. The links can be one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-one, or many-to-many, with the lines with * representing links that are not one-to-one: the Greek words for “record” and “genealogy” are linked to a single word “généalogie” in French; the Greek word for “son”, which appears twice in the original text, is linked to a single word “descendance” in French.
Links between Bridge Translation and Target Translation
The lines link the corresponding words in the bridge translation and the target translation. We can see that “Ðây là” is from the French “Voici”, but not from the Greek. We also see two instances of “con cháu” which corresponds to the two instances of “son” in Greek, through the single word “descendance” in French. The presence of the Greek text makes it possible to clearly see the differences in how the bridge translation and the target translation align to the Greek. In addition, we can see that “Ðức Chúa” (which means “God” or “the Lord” in Vietnamese) is not linked. This tells the translator or the translation consultant that these words are added by the translator.
The translation we are creating (in Vietnamese in this case) is in an edit box. The translation text is linked to the Greek original through the bridge translation as soon as the editing is done.