Mobile menu

Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Who cares if Google\'s heard of it or not?
Thread poster: mckinnc
mckinnc  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:39
French to English
+ ...
Nov 9, 2001

Sounds a bit provocative but is there not a tendency in proz to set too much store by results from Google and other search engines? Many people seem to think because something appears on the Web that it is expressed in perfect idiomatic English. Nothing could be further from the truth.



Obviously, a large number of hits suggests that an expression is widely used. However, I have quite often followed Web links to examples of usage of a given phrase, only to find that it is being used in a very different way. Unless you follow a lot of them up, you could be barking up the wriong tree.



Searches using search engines are an excellent way to gather information and test ideas but it\'s very important not to set too much store by them. If they\'re not supported by a first class (or native speaker\'s) knowledge of a language, the results they produce can be extremely misleading.



I\'d be interested to hear other people\'s thougts on this.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Maya Jurt  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 18:39
Member (2002)
French to German
+ ...
Google: To impress with your knowledge Nov 9, 2001

I absolutely agree with Colin. It has happened to me to give a reference from Google without checking the context. (Shame on me). I search Google only to get an independent source for what I already know, since \"Marketing specialist\", \"30 years\' experience\", \"finance expert\" and so on are not my way of saying \"I know best because...\"



I always admire my colleagues advancing an answer already given with copy/paste explanations over a page long to impress the asker. They are the one who get the points.



The shorter my answer, the surer it is. But I might be wrong: A very recent example: For over 20 years, I listened to speeches hearing: \"Your excellency, Minister of Foreign Affairs\", \"Your Excellency, Prime Minister of...\" in the framework of the United Nations. Just to give proof of this, I searched Google and fell on a speech of WHO-director Brundtland. You, Colin, did not believe me because I did not mention my experience. We were asked to give the correct address in a SPEECH, Colin gave the correct address in a BBC interview. He got the points. That\'s all right with me, but I do not think this is the answer to the question.



Google is ok, as long as it is not only Google. That is why I agree.

Greetings

Maya



Direct link Reply with quote
 
Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 23:09
English to Spanish
+ ...
Like a dictionary, you mean Nov 9, 2001

In other words you mean to say that it is just like a dictionary. You should be intelligent enough to choose the right word for the right context.Good statement. Only native speakers or people with first class knowledge can do it better, you mean to say.



[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-11-09 07:09 ]

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-11-09 07:11 ]

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-11-09 07:13 ]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
mckinnc  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:39
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
a dictionary of living language Nov 9, 2001

I suppose I mean it\'s not really like a good dictionary in that you\'re not looking at definitions provided by expert terminologists. Instead, you\'re often seeeing expressions used in real situations by real users. This is extremely useful but you have to bear in mind that many of these users may either not be native speakers of the language in question (very common with English on the Web). They could also be native speakers that do not use certain words in the way that other speakers of the language would use them or understand them.



The Web is an incredibly rich source of information for translators and anyone who did this job before these resources were so readily available is aware of how helpful it is. However, just like a dictionary, it needs to be used in a discerning way and with great care.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 23:09
English to Spanish
+ ...
who gets the better of who? Nov 9, 2001

Maya and Collins are the two players in this Google dependency syndrome.

Maya rests on her experience, and others on Google. It all boils down to who gets the better of who? Google or experience.



The best way for the people with experience is to hoist their expressions on the Net and then Google will show how you say it, for others to copy and paste.



Nice way to beat Google at its game or for the people who play the game based on Google.

I had never imagined such a situation.

This time Google is on the firing line.Arma mea, contra mea, would say poor Google.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-11-09 08:04 ]

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-11-09 08:07 ]

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-11-09 08:07 ]

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-11-09 08:08 ]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Maya Jurt  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 18:39
Member (2002)
French to German
+ ...
Do we rememer the time without Google? Nov 9, 2001

Colin is right, Google is great and Telesforo shows his creativity. If we put everything we know on the net to prove our expertise, we won\'t have time to translate. That\'s what others do, and they are often dead wrong.



The referee in this discussion is the asker. If he relies on a google-ish answer, he bears the responsibility. We do what we can, each in his/her own way.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
mckinnc  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:39
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Exactly: the asker needs to be able to choose well Nov 9, 2001

Interesting answer Maya. I think we all see examples of answers being accepted that we think are not the best option and of course you don\'t always produce an exhaustive list of examples if you are entirely sure of a translation. I take your point about not wanting to pull rank and say I\'m a native speaker, I\'ve worked in the xx industry for 12 years. Ultimately, if the translator is not able to sift through the proposed answers and the reactions of other \"pros\" and choose the most appropriate translation, then that\'s their problem. They\'re not really equipped to do the job they\'ve taken on. Either they\'re not able to get on top of the subject matter or they\'re out of their depth with the target language.



For example, sometimes a native speaker of German that posts a question will select an answer to a German-English question proposed by a fellow German that to me as a native English speaker does not sound idiomatic. But I suppose that\'s their lookout. At the same time, I certainly don\'t rule out such people coming up with the best translation because their understanding of the source language is likely to be excellent.



In the instance you cite, I didn\'t say I didn\'t believe you Maya. I simply meant that in my own experience, that was not how I would normally expect to hear it said. And I have also learnt from experience that the language spoken within EU institutions or other international organisations is often a bastardised form of French, English etc. I\'m sure Gro Harlem Brundtland is an excellent linguist, as so many Scandinavians, but I wouldn\'t take her utterances as references for correctly spoken English. I simply stated that I thought that \"excellency\" was the normal and correct form of address for an ambassador, not a minister. In any case, the asker didn\'t seem to like any of the answers that much, seeing as she only awarded 2 points.



Direct link Reply with quote
 
Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 12:39
German to English
+ ...
Cum grano salis Nov 9, 2001

Cum grano salis - and that applies to all things to do with translation and language.



Google and other search engines are ideal tools to verify hunches or track down sources, that\'s all.



I, too, have been involved in KudoZ tussles where the asker (or a fellow answerer) would not believe me, even though I had first-hand knowledge of the proper term, simply because I did not back up my answer with some Google link (in one case, someone graded my answer saying, \"So, where is the Google link???\"



Quality dictionaries and parallel texts as well as one\'s own expertise and experience are still the best references (also for answering KudoZ questions) - Google et al. should be used only for verification purposes.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-11-09 09:42 ]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 11:39
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Google is the entry point to the new corpus - for better or for worse Nov 9, 2001

Sometimes Google can mislead. Common mispellings can sometimes be backed up with 1000\'s of hits. Another problem is that a bad translation of a phrase can also be suppported. I have seen examples of this, but I can\'t remember any right now. Ah, yes I can. Take for instance, \"entidad federativa\". In Mexico, this is the expression used for the states plus the Federal District. So suppose you\'re translating it into English. \"Federative entities\" sounds clumsy and doesn\'t ring familiar as an English expression, so you ask yourself, is it OK? Well, it gets hits in Google. But if you look carefully, you find that virtually all of them are in texts translated from the Spanish. This suggests that the expression is in the \"third language\" i.e. that variety of English which betrays its origins as a translated text. Further research on bilingual pages confirms that \"states\" is used in the better-written English texts to translate this expression, even though it is a less precise literal equivalent.



Google is not authoratative, but a judicious use of it as a way to access a huge *corpus* of contemporary written language can be very useful. We should not reject it outright because it returns erroneous texts as well as correct ones, but rather harness the way it and other search engines allow us to treat the vast collection of on-line documents as a corpus. It is an unprecedented tool that, wisely used, can complement dictionary tools.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
DR. RICHARD BAVRY
Spanish to English
+ ...
Google-eyed? Nov 9, 2001

Quote:


On 2001-11-09 09:42, G2E wrote:

Cum grano salis - and that applies to all things to do with translation and language.



Google and other search engines are ideal tools to verify hunches or track down sources, that\'s all.



I, too, have been involved in KudoZ tussles where the asker (or a fellow answerer) would not believe me, even though I had first-hand knowledge of the proper term, simply because I did not back up my answer with some Google link (in one case, someone graded my answer saying, \"So, where is the Google link???\"



Quality dictionaries and parallel texts as well as one\'s own expertise and experience are still the best references (also for answering KudoZ questions) - Google et al. should be used only for verification purposes.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-11-09 09:42 ]







No question, Werner, that there is much erroneous information parading as fact over the internet...Especially as regards lousy translations masquerading as fact from dubious web sites, whether from Uzbekistan or Adzerbaidzhan, the Malagasay Republic or Timbuctoo...or Erewhon! And a grain of salt and a soupcon of wit will easily season the pot for what it\'s really got!



Rich

Yours in bemusement...and frequent amusement!

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-11-09 11:38 ]

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nicolas Racine  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:39
English to French
Who do you trust? Nov 9, 2001

I agree with Colin on this. Unfortunately, the explanation to a Kudoz answer is often \"This is what is see/hear most often\". Maybe someone will find many occurences of an expression in Google, but does the fact that many people use an expresssion makes this expression accurate? Should we follow the masses, giving the evolution of language as an excuse, or should we give answers that reflect what we believe to be a good, accurate translation? The bottom line is Would you, youreself, use your answer with utmost confidence in one of your translations?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nicolas Racine  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:39
English to French
Who do you trust? Nov 9, 2001

I agree with Colin on this. Unfortunately, the explanation to a Kudoz answer is often \"This is what is see/hear most often\". Maybe someone will find many occurences of an expression in Google, but does the fact that many people use an expresssion makes this expression accurate? Should we follow the masses, giving the evolution of language as an excuse, or should we give answers that reflect what we believe to be a good, accurate translation? The bottom line is Would you, youreself, use your answer with utmost confidence in one of your translations?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Vladimir Dubisskiy  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:39
English to Russian
+ ...
Absolutely agree. Google is quite handy, but same is true with Yandex (for Russian-language search) Nov 9, 2001

Quote:


On 2001-11-09 09:42, G2E wrote:



Google and other search engines are ideal tools to verify hunches or track down sources, that\'s all.



Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jake Estrada  Identity Verified
Philippines
Local time: 01:39
Member (2003)
English to Tagalog
+ ...
Remember that Google hits reply on web presence/site submissions Nov 9, 2001

Hi everyone...I totally agree with the above comments supporting the philosophy that Google is not always a reliable verification tool...



As we know, search engines like google rely mainly on submissions of web sites/web pages by parties who wish to have those sites/pages come up on a Google search. What if the appropriate site/page is not in google\'s database? In that case the source for verification is in fact on the web...but google can\'t find it because it wasn\'t submitted.



And then, another scenario--what if the material is not posted at all on the web? (Well, if it\'s not online, there\'s no small chance it could show up on Google)...perhaps the person could be convinced to settle for a bibliographic source (e.g. dictionary) for verification?



I\'ve had my fair share of these situations


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Gilda Manara  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:39
German to Italian
+ ...
Nov 9, 2001

I think that Dictionaries, Reference texts, Glossaries and personal experience are all together the basic means, without which a translator cannot work - they have been implemented by researches on the web. They are all good - but if they are used all together, not if we rely on only one of them! Their usefulness varies also greatly according to the context of the document to be translated - for an official Government text I would not make researches in Google, for a publicity text it might be interesting to see what could be found as \"slang\", for documents to be diffused within a Company each customer might have its own glossary... Thus I think that the answers we can suggest in KudoZ should be all welcome, even if each answerer supports them with a different source - it should be up to the asker to evaluate which references are more valid for the specific question he is putting.



Gilda


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Who cares if Google\'s heard of it or not?

Advanced search






memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »
Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs