wu :: forums
wu :: forums - Language Proficiency Verification

Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register.
Jan 29th, 2022, 12:26am

RIDDLES SITE WRITE MATH! Home Home Help Help Search Search Members Members Login Login Register Register
   wu :: forums
   riddles
   hard
(Moderators: towr, william wu, Grimbal, ThudnBlunder, Eigenray, Icarus, SMQ)
   Language Proficiency Verification
« Previous topic | Next topic »
Pages: 1 2  Reply Reply Notify of replies Notify of replies Send Topic Send Topic Print Print
   Author  Topic: Language Proficiency Verification  (Read 7832 times)
udippel
Newbie
*





   


Posts: 30
Re: Language Proficiency Verification  
« Reply #25 on: Jan 20th, 2003, 9:28am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

To redPEPPER:  
You wrote: "The most cryptic part for me is when the riddle says "you want to test that A knows B".  Was that a typo that was supposed to mean we want to test that A know Tamil, as stated at the end of the riddle?  Or are we supposed to test both?  How is it relevant if A knows B?  Would that mean they could prepare a fraud beforehand?"
 
I'd read it straightaway as "you want to test if A knows B", meaning "you want to find out if A knows B". Let's get on with this: If they don't know each other, we can assume that any conspiration would have to be done in Tamil. We can trust A, let's assume, that he won't falsify anything B says, since he wants to convince us that he knows Tamil. At least, anything he says will be to his best ability to convince us. B definitively knows Tamil. So, logically, the sequence starts with B. We have to request B to say something to A that gives A the chance to prove to us (by speaking English to us) that he understands what B has said (or asked), irrespective if B tells the truth to A or not.
I'm 'only' stuck what such could be. Both don't know any other language, any conspiracy would only be possible in Tamil. So if we can find that they conspire (and didn't know each other beforehand), A knows Tamil. Even if they conspire and we ask B to say something to A that is impossible to prepare, this holds true as well: A will only be able to get add-on info through Tamil, which would prove A.
To me everything runs down to our clever request to untrustworthy B to extract something in Tamil from him that A could use this way or another to prove to us that he knows Tamil.
 
No solution, but: is this logic correct?
IP Logged
Phil
Newbie
*





   


Posts: 38
Re: Language Proficiency Verification  
« Reply #26 on: Jan 29th, 2003, 6:04am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

Let me take a stab at this. You hire A to translate a book you wrote into Tamil, but he could just write jibberish and you wouldn't know. You put an ad in the paper for a Tamil speaker and B shows up. He could be conspiring with A. If A doesn't know B then any conspiring would have to be in Tamil, but as long as they actually speak Tamil and want you to know they speak Tamil, what would be the point of conspiring?
You know they speak no other language (how you'd know that I don't have a clue, but it's a given). The only possible conspiracy would be a coded message, prepared beforehand.
I say a word to A, he translates it to B in Tamil. B tells me the word. How would you tell the difference between a code and a real foreign language?
My solution, give words that are very similar in English, like hit, hat, hip. If the Tamil words are also very similar, it's a code. I would guess that any code complex enough to hide the similarity would also be too complex to work in your head.
Other tests: give words with shades of meaning. The double translation should not be perfect. If B always gives you back the exact word you spoke, they're cheating.
But how do you test Tamil grammar? If A knows a few Tamil words but his grammar is horrible, B could still figure out what he means and fix up his grammar in the English translation. If you tell A to translate some bad English grammar into Tamil, A can tell B in his bad Tamil grammar what you're doing.
IP Logged
BNC
Uberpuzzler
*****





   


Gender: male
Posts: 1732
Re: Language Proficiency Verification  
« Reply #27 on: Jan 29th, 2003, 9:56am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

I think one of the problems here is that you don't trust B at all. He may get valid Tamil words, but lie and say they're not.
IP Logged

How about supercalifragilisticexpialidociouspuzzler [Towr, 2007]
udippel
Newbie
*





   


Posts: 30
Re: Language Proficiency Verification  
« Reply #28 on: Jan 30th, 2003, 10:16am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

for Phil:
You hire A to translate a book you wrote into Tamil, but he could just write jibberish and you wouldn't know.  
 
check
 
You put an ad in the paper for a Tamil speaker and B shows up. He could be conspiring with A. If A doesn't know B then any conspiring would have to be in Tamil, but as long as they actually speak Tamil and want you to know they speak Tamil, what would be the point of conspiring?
 
here I don't follow. The task is to find out, if A knows Tamil. So, once you get them conspiring in Tamil, the riddle is done
 
I say a word to A, he translates it to B in Tamil. B tells me the word. How would you tell the difference between a code and a real foreign language?
 
here I'd adhere to what was said earlier: a code to communicate more than basics is 'foo'; a third language; which is excluded
 
I would guess that any code complex enough to hide the similarity would also be too complex to work in your head.
 
see above
 
Other tests: give words with shades of meaning. The double translation should not be perfect. If B always gives you back the exact word you spoke, they're cheating.
 
let's negate your phrase: if B never gives back the word you said, we're lost: either A doesn't speak Tamil or B is cheating. But what we want to find out: does A speak Tamil ?
 
But how do you test Tamil grammar? If A knows a few Tamil words but his grammar is horrible, B could still figure out what he means and fix up his grammar in the English translation. If you tell A to translate some bad English grammar into Tamil, A can tell B in his bad Tamil grammar what you're doing.
 
I assume the riddle wants a boolean solution; not evaluating the level of proficiency.
 
I do agree with BNC: we can not trust B to tell us the truth; we do only trust that he speaks Tamil.  
Can we assume that A wants to convince us that he speaks Tamil ? I'd read a 'yes' from the text of the riddle
IP Logged
Phil
Newbie
*





   


Posts: 38
Re: Language Proficiency Verification  
« Reply #29 on: Jan 30th, 2003, 11:04am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

Okay, I missed that B definitely knows Tamil. I was thinking it was just a general riddle about how to test the knowledge of two strangers in a subject you know nothing about. Instead its a riddle of passing trustworthy information through an untrustworthy B.
IP Logged
johnp.
Guest

Email

Re: Language Proficiency Verification  
« Reply #30 on: Feb 18th, 2003, 1:27am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify Remove Remove

Rephrase of the problem: "There is a Man A, who claims to know the Tamil Language. You dont know the Tamil language so you can't test him. You hire another Man B, who knows the Tamil Language, to test Man A. Both A and B knows your language. Though you dont trust any of these guys you still  want to test that Man A knows the Tamil language. You also know that neither A nor B know any other languages besides Tamil and your own language. How will you test whether or not Man A knows Tamil?"
 
Hm.
 
The problem says nothing about A and B having any form of contact, so I'll assume the two guys know nothing about each other. Since you trust neither, it's also important to not let these guys have any form of communication. Man A might know Man B in real life and vice versa, but you'll never tell them about each other so there's no way they can plot against you.
 
Get Man A to write a passage in Tamil on a piece of paper, telling someone (Man B, unknown to Man A) to perform a few simple tasks, for example "tug your left ear, turn around three times counterclockwise, say Abra Kadabra and sit down on the floor". It's in A's interest to make you believe he knows Tamil, so he won't pull any tricks here if he really knows Tamil. If he doesn't know Tamil, he'll either write gibberish or try to communicate in some encoded form of your own language, not obvious to you when you read the Tamil passage thoroughly. And if it's not obvious to you, why would it be obvious to Man B? Hmmm... it could be an encoding scheme common to the Tamil-speaking population? Likely enough to even be considered? I don't think so.
 
Give the sheet of paper to Man B, telling him to do the tasks written on the paper. Man B doesn't know who's written these tasks (he knows nothing about Man A). If the passage is written in Tamil, Man B will either perform the tasks (alternatively tell you "hey, this is silly, I'm not going to turn around, say these silly words and sit down on your dirty floor"), thus confirming that A knows Tamil, or he'll claim it's gibberish. If he confirms, great for Man A. If Man B says it's gibberish, you've got another problem. It could be gibberish, but you can't trust Man B, so you can't really know for sure. You could ask Man B to write a similar set of tasks in Tamil for Man A to perform, but if Man B is hostile he would write gibberish, so Man A won't be able to make sense of it.
 
This all depends on the non-trustworthy Man B, which makes the problem unsolvable.
 
You can try to do tricks like buying a book or a newspaper in Tamil, pulling out words and asking both to translate into English, but as long as B is not trustworthy and could be lying / making up words you can't use him to control A.
 
Or?
IP Logged
udippel
Newbie
*





   


Posts: 30
Re: Language Proficiency Verification  
« Reply #31 on: Mar 1st, 2003, 8:45am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

What do the others think ?? To me at least it seems we have an agreement on the foundations of the riddle as confirmed by johnp.
 
Question remains: can we somehow exploit the knowledge of B to solve the riddle or is johnp right with his suggestion 'unsolvable' ??
IP Logged
Quetzycoatl
Newbie
*






   


Gender: male
Posts: 46
Re: Language Proficiency Verification  
« Reply #32 on: Dec 31st, 2003, 9:35am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify


If A knows Tamil but pretends not to, then the puzzle is immpossible since he can always utter gibberish no matter what you present him with. I think we have to interpret the puzzle to mean that, whether he knows Tamil or not, he wants you to think he does.  
 
So now the real task is to get your hands on some text that you know to be in Tamil. Given that, there are probably multiple ways to test A. Here's an example:
 

  • Take two Tamil texts (or one tamil and another in a third language or gibberish) and mix up the pages as much as you like.
     
  • Give it to A and have him translate it into English, writing the English words on the original pages above their Tamil counterparts.
     
  • Based on the breaks in subject matter, sentences etc. you should be able to tell if A knows Tamil.

 
The task now is to get B to provide you with Tamil text since he is the only source of Tamil (you can't just go to a bookstore and buy some because you think the publishing industry is out to get you and you can't tell if the books they say are in Tamil really are).
 
If you give B some English text to translate, he can give you back either a correct translation, an incorrect translation (though still in Tamil), or gibberish (a part Tamil part gibberish translation works just as well as an incorrect translation). We can eliminate the possibility of B translating it into some sort of code because the problem clearly states that neither A nor B know a third language.
 
If you run B's texts by A using the method described above then:

  • If the breaks are in the right place, then B translated into Tamil (though not necessarilly accurately) and you know A knows Tamil.
     
  • If the breaks are in the wrong places or don't exist then you know A is lying and therefore does not know Tamil (Of course B could deliberatley add breaks into his own translation, though I think you could get around this by creating your breaks at random places, not just mixing pages, and just check for those ignoring other breaks).
     
  • If A tells you the text is gibberish then he is either guessing or B is a jerk and A knows Tamil. The only thing I can think to do in this situation is to keep repeating everything, alternating who you give the English text to in the first place, until one of them doesn't say its gibberish...

Bleah
 
 
 
« Last Edit: Jan 8th, 2004, 9:13am by Quetzycoatl » IP Logged
TenaliRaman
Uberpuzzler
*****



I am no special. I am only passionately curious.

   


Gender: male
Posts: 1001
Re: Language Proficiency Verification  
« Reply #33 on: Dec 31st, 2003, 11:33pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

*somehow i missed this convo before*
William,
I am a tamil speaker.If you could direct me to the site or give the email address of the author, i could contact him to get the details of the problem.Then i can translate back in english that is ofcourse if you trust my ability in english Wink.
IP Logged

Self discovery comes when a man measures himself against an obstacle - Antoine de Saint Exupery
william wu
wu::riddles Administrator
*****





   
WWW

Gender: male
Posts: 1291
Re: Language Proficiency Verification  
« Reply #34 on: Jan 1st, 2004, 2:28am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

OK, check your IM (instant messages) box.
IP Logged


[ wu ] : http://wuriddles.com / http://forums.wuriddles.com
rmsgrey
Uberpuzzler
*****





134688278 134688278   rmsgrey   rmsgrey


Gender: male
Posts: 2846
Re: Language Proficiency Verification  
« Reply #35 on: Jan 2nd, 2004, 8:02am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

I think that getting A to write a series of instructions to B (in Tamil) and telling B that he gets paid a large bonus for carrying out the instructions given has a pretty good chance of working. If A and B conspire somehow, then you've got the problem of a third language (particularly since you can trivially prevent them communicating what's in the original instructions other than by the "Tamil" instructions). Of course, if B is a complete jerk and wants to get A in trouble more than he wants money, then there's nothing you can do (assuming he's at least as smart as you are).
IP Logged
Quetzycoatl
Newbie
*






   


Gender: male
Posts: 46
Re: Language Proficiency Verification  
« Reply #36 on: Jan 2nd, 2004, 11:34am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

on Jan 2nd, 2004, 8:02am, rmsgrey wrote:
I think that getting A to write a series of instructions to B (in Tamil) and telling B that he gets paid a large bonus for carrying out the instructions given has a pretty good chance of working. If A and B conspire somehow, then you've got the problem of a third language (particularly since you can trivially prevent them communicating what's in the original instructions other than by the "Tamil" instructions). Of course, if B is a complete jerk and wants to get A in trouble more than he wants money, then there's nothing you can do (assuming he's at least as smart as you are).

 
I dont think there is any reason to believe that we can't easily prevent A and B from conspiring, we never have to make one known to the other after all. And as far the monetary incentive, that is a highly unpredictable method for producing results. B could already be rich for example, or a monk who has taken a vow of poverty.
IP Logged
King_T
Newbie
*





   


Gender: male
Posts: 21
Re: Language Proficiency Verification  
« Reply #37 on: May 9th, 2004, 1:31am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

If the assumption can be made that the characters respond to some reward or threat and that they will abide by the rules of the discussion (no extra talking), then the puzzle is not trivially unsolvable.  If so, I don't understand why this is considered to be unsolvable.
 
You tell them that hey both only get paid (or live or whatever) for correctly matching answers.  Also tell them exactly what you're going to do with each person.  Ensure both know that one of the questions will be "Does A know B?", with simple confirmation if affirmative.
 
If you're allowed to separate them, then the method simply is:
 
- talk to B (in English) about some key facts about his life.  
- get B to translate a few phrases of yours into alleged Tamil and point out the nouns to you.  
 
- go to A and ask him (in English) to verify B's facts; you'll know if A knows B.
- change some of the nouns in your translations and get A to translate them back.  You now know if A knows Tamil.
 
QED
 
Maybe the question was originally that you meet both A and B at the same time, all signals and clues are available to all, and you have to  figure out both answers while standing there.  Then, I believe the answer to be beyond my ken...at least at 2:30am.
IP Logged
Three Hands
Uberpuzzler
*****





    Reucserru+Oymai


Gender: male
Posts: 715
Re: Language Proficiency Verification  
« Reply #38 on: May 9th, 2004, 4:20am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

Again, it is impossible through your method, King T, to ensure that the language is indeed Tamil that has been written down. It could be some other language that they both know and you don't.
 
Also, you are assuming a structure to the Tamil language which means that it would be grammatically correct for you to swap nouns around (either that, or I have *no* idea where you are getting these nouns from...) while other non-English languages work on the basis of nouns having genders - and gender-based terms around them - which may lead to your swapping around of the nouns creating a grammatically incorrect sentence or two, which would then provide your friend with ample reason for claiming that the statements are invalid (assuming he's remember the cipher he came up with to use with Man B...)
 
Perhaps the easiest solution would just to be to learn Tamil yourself from some independent person/book, and then test your friend yourself. Granted, it's a solution which takes longer, but I would imagine carries with it a higher chance of guaranteeing the claims of Man A  Smiley
IP Logged
King_T
Newbie
*





   


Gender: male
Posts: 21
Re: Language Proficiency Verification  
« Reply #39 on: May 9th, 2004, 10:10am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

Hi Three Hands,
 
re: It could be some other language that they both know and you don't.
 
The puzzle states that neither of them knows another language other than yours and possibly Tamil.
 
 
re: Assuming a structure...
 
One doesn't need to use proper gender-based nouns to explain which sentences make sense, which don't, and what the closest meaning of the sentence is.  Here's a short excerpt from the conversation:
 
"B, please translate the following and identify the nouns:"
- It's raining, let's go inside the building.
- The camel is the fastest way to travel.
- The Tamil Tigers are going to take the World Series.
 
"A, please retranslate the following (Tamil sentences) into English:"
- It's raining, let's go inside the camel.
- The is the fastest way to travel.
- The Tamil Tigers are going to take the World Series.
 
 
If he doesn't know Tamil, then you'll get "Those sentences look okay to me" or a huge load of gibberish.
 
 
If he does know Tamil, then he'll tell you something like this:
 
"Firstly, I wouldn't suggest going into a camel if it's raining, a camel is an animal.  That word can also mean stick...either way it doesn't make sense.  And your grammar sucks."
 
"The *what* is the fastest way to travel?  You've left out a word or you're trying to say something else...either way the sentence doesn't make sense."
 
"As if...the New Delhi Yankees just brought in two closers for 200 billion rupees and have the deepest batting order since the Blue Jays' WAMCO lineup."
IP Logged
Three Hands
Uberpuzzler
*****





    Reucserru+Oymai


Gender: male
Posts: 715
Re: Language Proficiency Verification  
« Reply #40 on: May 9th, 2004, 4:21pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

How well does your solution work if it turns out A knows B? Also, they could decide it's more fun to wind you up, and so A deliberately tells lies about B when you are trying to verify.
 
Then, they could also use some kind of code to make the sentences look foreign, but in fact be English in a specific code, which B then (correctly) identifies the nouns, and A correctly decodes the sentences, and so correctly identifies what the sentences are after you've changed them.
 
If, however, you also did a thorough check for any codes which may have been used, and could be remembered in a human mind, then you could check to see if the sentences do genuinely appear to be foreign. This may want a computer to scan the "translated" sentences in order to quickly check for codes, but that's about it.
 
Besides, something like an Internet translation site may prove pretty good for generating some appropriate sentences, and bypass the need for Man B...
IP Logged
King_T
Newbie
*





   


Gender: male
Posts: 21
Re: Language Proficiency Verification  
« Reply #41 on: May 9th, 2004, 4:46pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

I feel that it's clear that if A tells lies about B, that they won't get their money (or they both get killed or whatever) as their answers don't match...which is why I detailed the necessary assumption in the first place.  As I said...without it, the riddle is trivially unsolvable.
 
The complicated code wouldn't work because the second translator doesn't know which phrases or nouns were switched.  Even if the code was so complex and complete that it did, then it would just count as a different language which isn't allowed in the riddle.
 
The problem, as stated, is solved.
IP Logged
Three Hands
Uberpuzzler
*****





    Reucserru+Oymai


Gender: male
Posts: 715
Re: Language Proficiency Verification  
« Reply #42 on: May 9th, 2004, 4:52pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

If you encoded a sentence using a letter-substitution code, then the words remain English, just disguised. Hence, the second translator would be able to decode the sentences into English, and then be confused by the words that are produced due to your moving around of nouns...
 
And also, they may decide that money couldn't replace the amusement that is produced by maintaining the charade that A knows Tamil, in spite of your best attempts to prove that he doesn't. And killing them because they don't know each other seems a little extreme, and wouldn't prove whether A knew Tamil or not  Smiley
IP Logged
pedronunezmd
Junior Member
**





   


Gender: male
Posts: 115
Re: Language Proficiency Verification  
« Reply #43 on: Jun 5th, 2004, 1:59pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

Here is another way to solve this riddle without using Man B at all.  
 
Man A does not know that you don't have a trustworthy third person who knows Tamil. So you just tell A that you have finally found a 3rd person who is trustworthy who knows Tamil.
 
Now you tell A that either he admits that he does not know Tamil now and leave your presence, or else he will have to translate a message from english to Tamil, at which point you will leave the room and ask your imaginary trustworthy Tamil-speaker if the message is correctly translated, at which point if it is not, the room that A is in will be flooded with poison gas.
 
Assuming you pull off the bluff, A will either admit he has been lying and leave, or else he will write something on a piece of paper that is in Tamil.
 
Then again, maybe A is suicidal.
IP Logged
Three Hands
Uberpuzzler
*****





    Reucserru+Oymai


Gender: male
Posts: 715
Re: Language Proficiency Verification  
« Reply #44 on: Jun 5th, 2004, 7:26pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

Either that or knows you well enough that he considers the bluff worth calling...
IP Logged
Sean Hogan
Guest

Email

Re: Language Proficiency Verification  
« Reply #45 on: Jul 14th, 2004, 9:52pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify Remove Remove

"There is a Man A, who claims to know Tamil Language. You dont know Tamil language so you can not test him. You hire another Man B, who knows Tamil Language, to test this. Both A and B knows your language too. Though you dont trust both of these guys still you want to test that A knows B. Also you know that A and B dont know any other language too. How will you test man A knows Tamil ? "  
 
Any other language besides yours and Tamil, or any language besides Tamil?
IP Logged
Random Lack of Squiggily Lines
Senior Riddler
****




Everything before 7/1/2008 is now irrelevant.

   


Gender: male
Posts: 460
Re: Language Proficiency Verification  
« Reply #46 on: Dec 7th, 2008, 12:54pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

I truly think this Problem could be solved, so I'm bringing it back from the dead. Me and my brother figured out a good idea, or a frame that could propel this, in about 5 minutes.
 
Anyways,  
 
I asumed that A Is trustworthy, except for his "Tamali", And B is UNtrustworthy, EXCEPT for his Tamali. By untrustworthy , he is random.
 
We chose 2 questions, One that the correct answer is "Yes", one "No". Qy, and Qn.
 
We tell Qy to A, and he gives At, A's verson of the question.
We tell Qn to B, and he gives Bt, B's verson of the question.
 
We then have A tell At to B, and B tell Bt to A.
 
This would leave us with ABt, and BAt, either yes or no. If they both are what they were in the first place, A speaks Tamali. If not, we have room for improvement.
IP Logged

You can only believe i what you can prove, and since you have nothing proven to cmpare to, you can believe in nothing.

I have ~50 posts to hack a "R" into a "D". Which one?
Pages: 1 2  Reply Reply Notify of replies Notify of replies Send Topic Send Topic Print Print

« Previous topic | Next topic »

Powered by YaBB 1 Gold - SP 1.4!
Forum software copyright 2000-2004 Yet another Bulletin Board