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Off topic: Machine translation
Thread poster: Uldis Liepkalns

Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:31
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Dec 13, 2006

Google Translate- the bug in question is now corrected, but screenshot how it did translate is available here:


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Han Li  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:31
English to Chinese
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Yes, it can help us to a certain extent Dec 13, 2006

Sometimes it can help us translate some words, but it's not enough to translation. We still need professional dictionaries. General knowledge and knowledge of the subject matter are of vital importance.

Han Li

[Edited at 2006-12-13 13:46]

[Edited at 2006-12-14 05:34]

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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:31
English to Polish
Wonderful! Dec 13, 2006

Ha ha ha ha!

For those, who don't read Russian:

"Peter Norton" was translated to "Evgeni Kaspersky" (not sure of transliteration to English though, but you get the idea)


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Alberto Orengo  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:31
English to Italian
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"Ma-chien translation" Dec 13, 2006

Ok, in the specific case of Google, I found it helpful once as I was looking at Arabic online news. I don't know a word of Arabic, and the tool gave me a vague hint on the news stories' content. Which was exactly what I needed in that particular occasion. For the rest, I keep re-translating stuff for disconsolate clients whose first option was Babelfish. I confess that I myself keep having fun with this stuff once in a while:

Ho deciso che domani andrò a sciare. Il problema è che quest'anno ha fatto pochissima neve, per lo più qualche sprizzata di farina. Tutto quello che troverò sarà uno strato di pappa artificiale. Meglio che niente.

I have decided that tomorrow I will go to sciare. The problem is that this year it has made least snow, for the more some sprizzata one than flour. All the one which I will find it will be one artificial baby food layer. Better than nothing.

Yep, better than nothing, but for the fact that the main word sciare (to ski) on which the whole ST hinges, was not translated.

Machine translation doesn't work with jargoon and idioms ("farina", flour =very thin and dry snow-flakes, "pappa artificiale" artificial soup =wet artificial snow, "prizzata" a sprinkle). Which is what makes up at least 70% of every language.

The idea is that everything can be useful, as long as one has well in mind use, goal, and extent of reliability.

[Edited at 2006-12-13 18:31]

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Local time: 01:31
Member (2002)
French to English
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Salt it heavily! Dec 13, 2006

I use it to follow forums in other languages, sometimes, with similarly hilarious results.

But as you say, Alberto, the frustration is that often the key word to the message remains untranslated.

The result is usually quite colourful, and can be unravelled (not to say untangled) to some degree, but must always be taken with a grain of salt! Remember the lawyer (avocat, avocado) sandwich and rabbit jumping in the mustard sauce!


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