Waves and Languages

"Can we express languages just like waves?" That was exactly the question which came into my mind, when everyone was so much bothered about translating Indian languages into one-another. They share so much similarities, but still its hard to find them all, or rather hard-code them to be machine-readable. I had this idea in a flash, and thought of sharing with the lecturer Dr. Raj Reddy

Hullo Sir,

Let me introduce myself. I'm Shaurabh Bharti, a fresh graduate from CSE, IIT Kharagpur. I attended your lecture at TechVista @ Bangalore, organised by MSR India. It was one of most thought-provoking lecture I have attended. I am shareing some of them here. 

Language Translation

I was looking at the problem we are facing handling Indian languages. Languages, as they are so diverse, each language have different grammar (arguably), syntax, alphabet etc. However, our brain still understands all of them. Of course, all languages have same expressive power (again arguably), and this gives a natural intuition that they can be translated into each other, at least semantically. 

Semantics, is the core area I was looking at. I was looking into it as a middleware using which one language can be translated into other. Overall, I mean it won't be meaningful to create systems to convert one-to-one language translator systems, rather translate each language into a central semantic language system (not English but rather Sanskrit, again arguably) , and get the semantic meaning translated into other language. Picking up a language, which has power of expressing everything is important here, as all languages can be good contestents. (just another intuition, Sanskrit looked to me as the best option here, as its still pure  and least locally transformed).

Language fragments like Words, Sentences as complex Waveforms

Well, that was about language translation. I was looking language as a waveform of alphabets/words/sentences. Whenever a person speaks a sentence, its never a pure sentence (just like a wave-generater can never produce a pure waveform). Rather, it’s a mixture of some grammatical sentences (again, here by grammar I meant a hypothetical grammar which is unambiguous. For waves, its universal Maxwell’s Electromagnetic Theory). By breaking down them into pure less powerful sentences (with lesser amplitude, that it conveys small part of total meaning), we can decipher what it means. Again, just like waves, it can have lots of noises. However, none of waves we transmit go without noises, and still they are doing great jobs.

Just like a mixture of pure sine waves looks hard to decipher for meaning, so is a sentence. Given a ‘raw wave’, its hard to decipher it into constituent pure sine waves intuitively. We need pure mathematics for that. Similarly, each raw sentence can be broken down into pure sentences, and they can be exactly found out using mathematics.

Such a correlation looked to me so intuitive, that I couldn’t resist it sharing with you.

Shaurabh Bharti


  1. Yes, it is possible!!! Not in comment, talk to me on yahoo or orkut...will discuss...

  2. A new and interesting topic for me think over and analyse.. :)

    I'm not a regular blogger.Ma 1st post was to u.

  3. ohh, the old one I wrote. Do u study physics? I wish I could work on it :-(