Friday, September 23, 2011

Language Divergence between English and Hindi

Comparing two languages is interesting, especially for an application for machine translation. Languages exhibit so many differences, it mind-boggling to realize that we navigate between languages with ease. This paper, 'Interlingua-based English–Hindi Machine Translation and Language Divergence', summarizes the major differences between Hindi and English.

I have tried to tabulate the observations in the paper below, to make a handy reference:

Factor English Hindi

Word Order Subject-Verb-Object Subject-Object-Verb

Ram ate the mango राम ने आम खाया

Modifiers Post modifier Premodifier

The Prime Minister of India भारत का प्रधान मंत्री

play well अच्छे से खेलेंगे 

X-positions Prepositions Postpositions

of India भारत का 


John ate rice with curd

John ate rice with a spoon

Compound Verbs not prevelant very common

Conjunct Verbs not prevelant very common

वह गाने लगे 

रुक जाओ 

Respect No special words Words indicating respect

आप, हम 

Uses 2nd person for 3rd person

He obtained his degree आपने  अम्रीका से डिग्री प्राप्त की 

Gender Masculine, feminine, neuter Masculine, feminine

Gender specific possesive pronouns English has them Hindi lacks them

he, she वह

Morphology Poor Rich

Null subject divergence
Subject dropped in certain conditions

There was a king एक राजा था

I am going जा रहा हूँ 

Pleonastic divergence
Pleonastic dropped

It is raining बारिश हो रही है 

Conflational divergence
no appropriate word

Brutus stabbed Caesar ब्रूटस  ने सीसर को छुरे से मारा 

Categorical divergence
change in POS category

They are competing वे मुकाबला कर रहे है

Head swapping
Head and modifier are exchanged

The play is on खेल चल रहा है

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