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Entertainment from machine translation
Thread poster: Narasimhan Raghavan

Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:12
English to Tamil
+ ...
Oct 8, 2005

It is unbelievable. The German weekly, Der Spiegel" relies on machine translation (altavista) for its online English version. I give below an example of the result achieved by this exercise. The news item presented here deals with the reaction of the Nobel prize designate M.Yves Chauvin to the news of his winning the Nobel prize.

The German original is followed by the machine translation. Original and translation are included in the same para. And there are different paras. I would have loved to put the translation in italics, but don't know how. I was able to do so in my blog, vide http://raghtransint.blogspot.com/2005/10/entertainment-from-machine-translation.html

Der französische Chemiker Yves Chauvin soll den Nobelpreis erhalten - und findet die Auszeichnung nicht erfreulich, sondern "peinlich". Der 74-Jährige sagte, er werde nicht zur Verleihungszeremonie kommen und wolle weiterhin zurückgezogen leben.
The French chemist Yves Chauvin is to receive the Nobelpreis - and does not find the honor not pleasing, but "embarrassingly". The 74-Jaehrige said, he to the award ceremony not to come and wanted further withdrawn to live.

Normalerweise reagieren Wissenschaftler mit atemloser Freude auf die Verleihung des Nobelpreises - zumal der Anruf aus Stockholm für die meisten überraschend kommt, da die Namen der Preisträger kaum vorhersehbar sind. Umso erstaunlicher war die Reaktion von Yves Chauvin, der heute von der Schwedischen Akademie der Wissenschaften als einer der drei diesjährigen Chemie-Nobelpreisträger genannt wurde.
Normally scientist reacts with breathless joy to the award of the Nobelpreises - particularly the call from Stockholm for most surprisingly comes, since the names of the winners are hardly foreseeable. The reaction of Yves Chauvin, which today of the Swedish Academy of Sciences as one of the three chemistry Nobelpreistraeger of this year was called, was the more amazing.

"Mir ist dieser Preis ausgesprochen peinlich", sagte der 74-jährige Ehrendirektor des Institut Français du Pétrole (IFP)in Rueil-Malmaison. "Meine Entdeckungen sind schon 40 Jahre alt, und ich bin ein alter Mann." Gefreut habe er sich keinesfalls. "Stockholm hat mich vor einer Stunde angerufen", sagte Chauvin den Reportern, die seine Wohnung in der westfranzösischen Stadt Tours belagerten. "Man hat mir viel Glück mit der Presse gewünscht. Ich beginne zu erkennen, was damit gemeint war."
"me this price is expressed embarrassing", said the 74-jaehrige director of honour Institut of the Français you Pétrole (IFP)in Rueil Malmaison. "my discoveries are already 40 years old, and I am an old man." Was not pleased it itself under any circumstances. "Stockholm called, said me one hour ago" Chauvin to the reporters, who besieged its dwelling in the westFrench city route. "one wished me much luck with the press. I begin to recognize, what was meant with it."

Seine Forschungen, für die er jetzt den Nobelpreis erhalten habe, lägen Jahrzehnte zurück. "Ich hatte genügend Zeit, das zu verdauen", sagte Chauvin, der seine ebenfalls mit dem Nobelpreis ausgezeichneten US-Kollegen Robert Grubbs und Richard Schrock lobte. "Ich wusste, dass meine Erkenntnisse wichtig waren. Ich habe den Weg bereitet, aber es sind meine amerikanischen Kollegen, die ermöglicht haben, dass ich diesen Preis heute bekomme."
Its research, for which it had received the Nobelpreis now, would be past decades. "I had sufficient time, to digest", said Chauvin, which likewise praised its with the Nobelpreis distinguished US colleague Robert Grubbs and Richard Schrock. "I knew that my realizations were important. I prepared the way, but there is my American colleagues, who made possible that I get this price today."

I can go on ad nauseum, but I am sure the above paras more than suffice.

My point is this. Cannot Spiegel afford a fulltime translator?

Regards,
N.Raghavan


[Edited at 2005-10-08 04:53]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:42
English to German
+ ...
How did you navigate to this? Oct 8, 2005

Hi Narasimhan,
Are you sure this version is published by Der Spiegel?

I just had a look at their English site - the articles shown there look pretty normal to me.

Did you perhaps click on a Translate link in your browser?

Cheers, Ralf


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:12
English to Tamil
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I navigated to this site from a link provided in one of the Tamil blogs Oct 8, 2005

The blogger in question is no translator. He just referred to the funny English seen in this site. The URL is:

http://babelfish.altavista.com/babelfish/trurl_pagecontent?lp=de_en&url=http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/mensch/0,1518,378142,00.html

It seems to be a page from the 5th October 2005 number of Der Spiegel. I located the original page and have provided the juxtaposed original and machine translated texts. That's all.

Regards,
N.Raghavan


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Lars Jelking  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 00:42
Member (2006)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Not only entertainment. Oct 8, 2005

It’s easy to laugh at institutions making fools of themselves, but what about us?

Judging from the KudoZ section, more and more of our peers are taking “advantage” of CAT software and try to break in among languages they obviously have absolutely no knowledge in. The result is often comical, but on the same time sad. Those “translators” more often than not underbid on jobs, and then hand in a result that is of absolute sub-standard. And the end-customer happily use the text to the amusement of the readers.

Full circle!


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Antoinette Verburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:42
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Blogger to blame Oct 8, 2005

Well, it seems obvious from the url the blogger provided ('babelfish.altavista...) that it's not der Spiegel's translator providing the entertainment, but the blogger himself. Replace the last part of the url by any other url, change the language pair in the url ('de_en') if necessary, and there you are.

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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:12
English to Tamil
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I am relieved Oct 8, 2005

Thanks Antoinette. Well, I am relieved to have been proved wrong. Fact is, I admire very much Der Spiegel and when apparently they have had recourse to machine translation, I was sad and a little indignant. I am really happy that my suspicions were not justified.

Does this mean no site is safe?

Regards,
N.Ragahavan

Antoinette Verburg wrote:
Well, it seems obvious from the url the blogger provided ('babelfish.altavista...) that it's not der Spiegel's translator providing the entertainment, but the blogger himself. Replace the last part of the url by any other url, change the language pair in the url ('de_en') if necessary, and there you are.


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:42
Member (2011)
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
der Spiegel MT translation was Babelfish free translation Oct 8, 2005

Narasimhan Raghavan wrote:
He just referred to the funny English seen in this site. The URL is:

http://babelfish.altavista.com/babelfish/trurl_pagecontent?lp=de_en&url=http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/mensch/0,1518,378142,00.html

It seems to be a page from the 5th October 2005 number of Der Spiegel. I located the original page and have provided the juxtaposed original and machine translated texts. That's all.


Antoinette Verburg wrote:

Well, it seems obvious from the url the blogger provided ('babelfish.altavista...) that it's not der Spiegel's translator providing the entertainment, but the blogger himself. Replace the last part of the url by any other url, change the language pair in the url ('de_en') if necessary, and there you are.


The syntax of the URL in question is obviously not a der Spiegel sponsored translation.
1. The URL is directly linked to the Babelfish subdomain at Altavista with the embedded link pointing to der Spiegel. Babelfish is an online free translation service, and is not used for the translation of institution web sites.
2. for Institution Web sites, all of the MT companies can provide a special enterprise level MT solution for translating the institution's extranet pages. For SYSTRAN, this would not link to the free Babelfish server, but to a local Systran server on the customer's website, or probably to a subdomain at the MT vendor's web site.

Jeff
(who has sold such MT server solutions in the past)



[Edited at 2005-10-09 14:19]


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