UNLplication is the process of generating, through UNL, several different versions from the same source document. These target versions include transformations of language (replication in the same language, replication in other languages), of length (text summarization, text extension), of structure (text, matrix, tree, graph) and of social adequacy (text simplification, sociolectalisation). The main goal of the UNLplication process is to reorganize and to reformat the semantic structure of the source document without any explicit commitment to preserving its lexical or syntactic choices, but in a way to extend and enhance its semantic accessibility to a wide range of applications and uses that do not require strict fidelity to the original.
What's the difference between UNLplication and translation?
In A textbook of translation (Prentice Hall, 1995), Peter Newmark identifies eight types of translation approaches, namely (from the most source-oriented to the most target-oriented): word-for-word translation, literal translation, faithful translation, semantic translation, communicative translation, idiomatic translation, free translation, and adaptation. To the common sense, however, and despite of the pervasiveness of the other possibilities, translation is normally restricted to the notion of "fidelity" (or faithfulness), i.e., any translated version of a text is expected to be a replica (of the content and of the form) of the original in another language. This transfer process, however, is “all too human”, as Nietzsche said, to be replicated by the currently existing technology, which is not prepared to deal with several language phenomena, such as vagueness, ambiguities, metaphors, ellipses, implicatures and so on. This does not mean that natural language automatic processing, and therefore machine translation, is impracticable; it just means that it is not possible yet to do that completely without humans or in the same way humans do. The results, in any case, are likely to be different from the ones produced by humans. In order to avoid false expectations, we have decided to carve a new term: "UNL-plication", from "UNL" + "plicare" ("to fold"), to designate the process of mapping a text into UNL (“UNL-ization”), reorganizing the resulting graph internal structure (“normalization”), and mapping the UNL graph back to a natural language structure (“NL-ization”). As this allows for generating several different versions (summarized, simplified, rephrased, etc) of the same graph, each of which in several different languages, we believe this can be properly said to be a multiplication of the source text by means of UNL.