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The Multilingual InternetLanguage, Culture, and Communication Online$
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Brenda Danet and Susan C. Herring

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195304794

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304794.001.0001

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Enhancing the Status of Catalan versus Spanish in Online Academic Forums

Enhancing the Status of Catalan versus Spanish in Online Academic Forums

Obstacles to Machine Translation

(p.209) 9 Enhancing the Status of Catalan versus Spanish in Online Academic Forums
The Multilingual Internet

Salvador Climent

Joaquim MorÉ

Antoni Oliver

MÍriam Salvatierra

Imma SÀnchez

TaulÉ Mariona

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an in-depth linguistic evaluation of a corpus of messages posted in several bilingual newsgroups in Catalonia (Spain). The social context is a situation of bilingualism and language contact where Spanish seems to be progressively overtaking Catalan as the language of daily use. The decline of Catalan might be prevented by integrating online machine translation (MT) into newsgroups, so that Catalan speakers do not feel the need or pressure to shift to using Spanish. Therefore, the main goal of this chapter is to ascertain the linguistic characteristics of the email register, in order to assess the implications for the implementation of online machine translation environments. The chapter reports to what extent different types of linguistic mistakes or deviations from the norm threaten the feasibility of online automatic translation, and offers some suggestions how to overcome the limitations of MT systems in processing “noisy” CMC input.

Keywords:   bilingualism, email, Catalan, language contact, linguistic features

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