A new entry in the Omicron Matter – At Tau Ceti Station. Simone Campbell is scared of the translator operation after her experience with collaring. Eleanor will stay with her to help. Millicent informs the doctor of Simone’s concerns. The doctor allows Eleanor to remain while the operation is complete.
For those who are new to the Omicron Matter, the book home page is a good place to start.
There huge treatises on how languages work. Programmers used to study linguistics as a part of a computer science degree. If a translator really existed, one would have to provide an audio baseline and then provide context sentences. I recently watched “The Imitation Game”. Ultimately a key to breaking the code was that every message ended in “Heil Hitler” and the first message of the day was the weather in Berlin. Having a starting point means everything.
I am almost done with the next chapter which is good because I am almost finished posting this one. Look for more on Wednesday.
The operation room looked remarkably like the medical bay on Millicent’s ship. Next to the examination bed was a tall thin being with a heart shaped face and the very large, almond shaped deep black eyes. The doctor gestured to the table. Millicent came in and spoke to the doctor at length in a strange language. As Millicent spoke, the doctor’s color changed from a beige grey to a bright red. Millicent pointed to Eleanor and spoke some more. The color changed from red to a light blue. The doctor nodded at Eleanor and pointed to a spot by the table. Millicent then spoke to Simone, “The screen will show some sentences. Read those. That will allow the room translator to work with you and the doctor.
Eleanor helped Simone position herself face down on the table. Then the screen appeared and Simone began to read. “Hello, my name is Simone Campbell. Three times nine is thirty six. The colors of a rainbow are red orange yellow green blue violet.” More sentences continued.
Finally the doctor now spoke and Eleanor heard an odd voice. “I am told you are familiar with human anatomy. This will make my job easier. Now I am going to have you read longer paragraphs. Reading will help me map your speech and language patters more closely with your translator. This matching will make detecting and translating emotion, context, subtext and humor much better.”
Simone choked a laugh and said, “Good lord, I could have used this in France five years ago.”
The doctor paused for a moment and said, “Even our translators have limitations, Miss Campbell. No one understands French humor.”
That caused Eleanor and Simone to laugh. The screen filled with more words and Simone began to recite the long paragraphs. They began as nonsensical recitations. “Two-finger John sickens me. A token of gratitude tells the tale of towers. Nothingness shoots pineapples with a machinegun.” Slowly the sentences changed to coherency. “I started out with nothing and still have most of it left. If practice makes perfect, and I am doing it wrong, then I am doing it perfectly wrong.” Then technical passages began to appear, “An atom is the smallest constituent unit of ordinary matter that has the properties of a chemical element. Every solid, liquid, gas, and plasma is made up of neutral or ionized atoms. Atoms are very small. However, atoms do not have well defined boundaries, and there are different ways to define their size which give different but close values..”
Eleanor raised her hand indicating she had a question. The doctor came over and leaned close so their voices would not interfere with the mapping. Eleanor asked, “Does everyone have the same readings?”
The doctor nodded and then said, “Initially and then the program tailors to the person. Miss Morgaine has added some special information requests around technology and science.” Eleanor nodded in return and the doctor returned to monitoring the process. After about 30 minutes, the doctor said, “Miss Campbell, I will need you conscious as I perform the surgery. You may notice some things, but there will be pain blockers.” The doctor sucked in a breath and said, “But your fear will make this surgery more difficult. For this I can only say you will not be abused.”