8/October/2004

Aymara

Aymara is the name of a language,
spoken in many places around South America and by the old Incas many centuries ago, and
the name of a culture that came from the lake Titicaca and related to the city of
Tiwanaku (in current Bolivia). There are many misteries associated with that old
culture, like how they built the city of Tiwanaku without, as the official history says,
knowing the wheel.

I recently read a book (El Origen Perdido (the lost origin), by Matilde
Asensi) about a history related to the Aymara language and its relationships with modern
computer programming languages, so, since I remembered having heard something about it,
I did a search
on Google
and found what I was looking for.
Seems the Aymara language has a structure that makes it perfect for the job of converting
from one language to any other, and is indeed being used in the Atamiri project, which is a
system made up of a set of natural language processing programs with its lexical
and grammatical database, both designed to serve as support tool for a translation center,
to assist, not substitute the professional translator
“. The role of the Aymara language
is explained very well on the Atamiri pages: “Because its linguistic model is based on
the formal language representation of the ancient Andean Aymara language, this achievement
in language engineering is very peculiar. Due to its algorithmic matricial structure, an
Aymara formal representation is useful as a syntactical bridge or interlingua, making it
possible to simultaneously translate from source language into various other target languages
“.

This is indeed pretty peculiar, since this means Aymara is a language that in turn can be used
to “define” other languages, and so can be used as the bridge for translation. Peculiar
indeed if you take into account that the Aymara language was first spoken many centuries ago.

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