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Off topic: Disastrous machine translation
Thread poster: Iza Szczypka

Iza Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:00
English to Polish
+ ...
Sep 10, 2003

A travel agency must have decided to save on translator's fees since they decided to publish multilingual draft machine translations of the English home page on their site (for two weeks only). I have enjoyed the Polish version enormously at http://www.paris-tours-guides.com/index_polish.shtml. PLEASE tell me if the other verions of http://www.paris-tours-guides.com/index.shtml are equally dazzling. Do you know similar examples?

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Terry Thatcher Waltz, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:00
Chinese to English
+ ...
Well, the "Classical Chinese" is interesting.... Sep 10, 2003

I don't think I've ever seen a Web site in "Classical" Chinese -- (it's called "Traditional", not "Classical" -- "Classical" is something else). Plus, the encoding is wrong -- you have to use GB encoding, which is the PRC (Mainland CHina) standard to read the traditional characters, which means that 99.99% of Taiwanese will surf to the site, see garbage, and surf away again. It does sound as if they had a human translator do the Chinese version, but obviously it was translated into Chinese for the Mainland and then just encoded in traditional characters but with the wrong encoding. Sheesh!!

They also feel that there is no need for 2 interpreters to do simultaneous work "unless it's more than an hour...." Hmmmm.....


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Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 05:00
German to English
The German is pretty shaky Sep 11, 2003

The text is intelligible, and some of it is almost idiomatic. But I don't think it's likely to convince any Germans to use their services.
Kevin


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:30
English to Tamil
+ ...
Interesting Website Sep 11, 2003

If you click the link provided for the Polish version, you get the following screen:
We’re sorry There is no page on our site that corresponds to the address you requested. We will now bring you to our home page, http://www.paris-tours-guides.com/index.htm, in ten seconds.
Thanks for bearing with us! Obviously the original posting has been seen by them and they are hopefully in the process of doing something about it! I checked the German version and some examples are given below: First the announcemnt.
Please note: We are in the process of translating our web pages, using translation software for the first draft. These translated web pages will be proofread within two weeks. In the meantime, we thank you for your patience with these first-draft translations. Remember: if you have any questions or doubts, you may consult the English-language section of our web site, available at: http://www.paris-tours-guides.com/index.htm

—The web development team at Paris International

Bitte Anmerkung: Wir sind bei dem Übersetzen unserer Netzseiten mit Übersetzungs-Software für den ersten Entwurf. Dieser übersetzten Netzseiten werden innerhalb zwei Wochen gelesen. Mittlerweile danken wir Ihnen für Ihre Geduld mit diesen Erstentwurfübersetzungen. Erinnern Sie sich: wenn Sie irgendwelche Fragen oder Zweifel haben, können Sie den englischsprachigen Abschnitt unserer Web site beraten, vorhanden an: http://www.paris-tours-guides.com/index.htm

—die Netzentwicklungsmannschaft in Paris International

Close this window • Schließen Sie dieses Fenster
Some examples:
Kommen Sie nach Paris?
Wir haben Lose Ideen, damit Sachen auf Ihrer Reise nach Paris tun, gleichmäßig an einem regnerischen Tag!

Unsere Preise sind Internet-Preise das heißt konkurrierendes. Wenn Sie viel Zeit suchen aufwenden, konnten Sie ein oder zwei Einzelteile etwas (und andere weniger kostspielig anderwohin finden, kostspieliger!), so entspannen Sie sich und bilden Sie die die meisten unseren Dienstleistungen.

Ein warmes hallo zu Ihnen und danken Ihnen für das Besuchen unseres Aufstellungsortes!
Wenn Sie an das Besuchen von Paris und von Frankreich denken, haben Sie das zu setzende rechte gefunden.

Wir können alle Grundservices, die Sie auf Ihrer Reise benötigen konnten, von Ankunft zu Abfahrt zur Verfügung stellen.

Paris, das international ist, ist eine genehmigte Führer- und Touragentur, die in Paris für 10 Jahre funktioniert. Wir sind ein Mitglied des Parisbüros von Tourismus und also gehalten zu den höchsten Standards der Qualität.

Wir bieten über 100 mehrsprachigen Führern an und Hostesses und eine vollständige Strecke prearranged, freundliche Haus-Haustouren von Paris, die Parisregion und sogar Tagesreisen in den Rest von Frankreich und von Europa (London, Brügge, der französische Riviera, Senkeschlösser Loire…). Wir können ganzes Hotel, Transport und andere Reservierungen für Sie bilden Ihr, während Sie bequem zu Hause sind.

Ja ist dieses das Internet! Und wir beabsichtigen, dieses wundervolle neue Mittel zu verwenden, um unseren vorsichtige Klienten-, schneller und höflicherservice zu geben. Wir stellen fest, daß Geschwindigkeit von größter Wichtigkeit ist und Ihre Zeit kostbar ist.

Wir wissen auch, daß dem das Ordnen einer Reise in einem Abstand erfordert etwas Unterhaltung, irgendeine Diskussion, besonders wenn Sie zum ersten Mal, mit den Kindern reisen, allein, oder auf einem festen Zeitplan… Das ist, warum wir bereit sind, alle Ihre Fragen zu beantworten, um Ihnen zu helfen, Ihre Reise aufzustellen. Wir haben einen großen englischsprechenden Personal, und sind immer auf der Aufgabe zum Verarbeiten Ihrer Aufträge und sofort Antworten auf Ihre email. Sie finden immer eine geduldige, freundliche Person in Paris, das, um Ihre Spielraumpläne zu besprechen international ist, egal wie einfach oder Komplex sie sein können.

Wir sind immer zu den Vorschlägen und zum Rat geöffnet, unseren Aufstellungsort und unseren Service zu verbessern.

Aber nehmen Sie jetzt einen Blick an allen großen Touren, die wir auf Angebot haben. Erinnern Sie sich, wenn Sie Ihre Spielraumdaten haben, Sie kann Reservierungen im Augenblick bilden!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Paris InternationalGuides and guided tours of Paris and France
in many languages by minibus, bus
and car, vacation packages, online Telephone: +33 (0)1 43 31 81 69
Fax: +33 (0)1 43 37 11 46
Postal Address: Paris International
65 rue Pascal, 75013 Paris

Need I say more?


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 12:00
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
the German is very charming indeed Sep 11, 2003

Reminds me of the tv-serial "Hello, hello, hello". Its like listening to a french guide on a sightseeing bus.
Of course we translators hate such bad translations, but mostly they are more interesting than good ones.


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Els Hoefman  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:00
Member (2004)
English to Dutch
+ ...
The Dutch is hilarious!!! Sep 11, 2003

Well, hilarious... disastrous might be the correct term. It makes no sense at all.
I actually forwarded the URL to colleagues and friends as a joke.


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Graciela Carlyle  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:00
English to Spanish
+ ...
Spanish is not any better... Sep 11, 2003

I had a quick look to some pages...
The spanish version, although not completely disastrous, is full of spelling mistakes and funny expressions.

By mistake I clicked on the Portuguese version first (which I canot evaluate) and a message popped up apologising that they were in the process of translating the site with translation software and that that particular page still needed proofreading.

Anyway, it looks as something done very unprofessionally. I certainly wouldn't buy from them.


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GertV  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 11:00
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Hilarious! Sep 11, 2003

The Dutch version is really hilarious!

"Who We Are" becomes "Who we sit on"
"A warm welcome" becomes "Too hot a welcome"
"Private Guided Tours" becomes "Soldier Private tours"...

And that's just words! The full sentences are even worse!

Thanks for this great posting! This confirms that we're not going to be out of work for at least a couple of years

Gert


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vladex  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:00
Polish
+ ...
*** Sep 11, 2003

Terry L. Thatcher, Ph.D. wrote:

I don't think I've ever seen a Web site in "Classical" Chinese -- (it's called "Traditional", not "Classical" -- "Classical" is something else).


Well in Polish it is "Chiñczyk (klasyfikator)" = "Chinese-man (sorter)"


What is strange for me, is Russian version.
The main part is so-so (I don't speak Russian fluently, so I can't evaluate it correctly), but there are some parts, that never could be written by a living creature...

And the most strange is a word "Йlysйes". How did latin and cyryllic letters mix?


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schmurr  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:00
Italian to German
+ ...
if you want more (in E/F/D/I/Sp): Sep 11, 2003

http://www.proz.com/home/20424/aut.html

Have fun!
Martin


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Will Matter  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:00
English
+ ...
lots of small mistakes Sep 11, 2003

The Japanese version has lots of small mistakes, sentences that start in the middle, sentences that end abruptly with nothing else following, things like that. Definitely needs to be redone in order to be intelligible, much less persuasive or informative.

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vladex  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:00
Polish
+ ...
human work this time Sep 11, 2003

Hi,
could you look at:
http://www.speakglobally.com/

The Polish translation is full of mistakes, typos and misunderstandings
It was probably tranlated by humans not machines, because there are no significant mistakes (Polish has a rich flexion, so no machine can translate into Polish correctly), but they certainly aren't good native speakers...
In fact, it is almost correct, but I would never want their service
I wonder if other languages are done better or not.

Among more interesting things, is list of languages. At Polish site, there is a class "jêzyki turkskie" (the term used in XIX century) containing eg. Kurdish and Turkish (in one class!). The same is at the Russian site. But the most relate to Kurdish languages - Farsi and the like are in another class (which name I saw the first time). I saw, that English site contains more natural classification.


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Rebekka Groß  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:00
English to German
oh dear - ach, du meine Güte Sep 11, 2003

Still drying the tears of laughter after reading the German pages.

Can you imagine some poor business person using their translation and interpreting servies - their company'd probably end up bankrupt or at the very least they'd be getting the sack for offending their business contacts and losing lots of business.

Just for the fun of it, I tried to send them an e-mail using their form - guess what? It resulted in a server error


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xxxblomguib  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:00
English to Flemish
+ ...
Dutch version is hilarious indeed!! Sep 11, 2003

the Dutch version left me unable to function for at least a quarter of an hour!
And they actually offer their services when it comes to interpreting...
The number one, for me, was the translation of "web page" by "zwemvliespagina"!!!!


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xxxblomguib  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:00
English to Flemish
+ ...
Aufsatz Eiffel und Luftschlitz in Paris: INTERESSANT!!! Sep 11, 2003

the Louvre in Paris becomes a "'Luftschlitz"???
and the Eiffel Tower an "Aufsatz Eiffel"???

Come on...even the most elementary instructed Frenchman/woman should be able to spot these....they're funny, though.


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