Auto versus Human Translation Relay Experiment
Thread poster: saizai
May 27, 2010

Hello all.

I am running a small experiment - mostly humorous, but it should have interesting results nonetheless - comparing an automatic translation relay (e.g. to an equivalent one done by actual professional human translators.

This will be published - most likely in the Annals of Improbable Research, SpecGram, or the like - and all resulting data will be put online.

If you're interested in participating and have done professional translation, please email giving:

1. A list of the directional translations (* see note below) that you do (e.g. "English -> French, Spanish, Klingon; Spanish -> Arabic; French -> English").

2. (Optional) A single shareable link to your credentials as a professional translator (so you can get due credit, and the write-up can accurately claim to be doing a reasonable comparison of professional vs auto translation).

I'll figure out what chain we can do and email you the text from the preceding link. Ideally I'd like to see it go through at least 10 languages so there's enough mutation in both to be amusing and interesting.

If you'd be interested in co-authoring a linguistic analysis and have a good sense of academic humor, please email me too.

- Sai Emrys

P.S. If you find this interesting, you may also enjoy the tradition of conlang relays, where constructed language authors translate from the previous person's constructed language:

* If it's not between English and one of the languages in the following list from Google Translate, please also give a link to a bidirectional autotranslator for the language pair.

Google Translate List:
Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Basque, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Maltese, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Welsh, Yiddish

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Lars Finsen
Local time: 13:41
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Participate! Jun 2, 2010

I'd like to encourage everyone to participate. It will be a fun and interesting experiment. The text will be short, max. 500 words, and you won't waste much time.

Sai seems to assume that there will be mutations. Well, ideally there shouldn't be any, as we are professional translators. But depending on the type of text there will tend to be some degree of ambiguity, and if the text does mutate, the mutations may give interesting insights in the way our work functions.


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Auto versus Human Translation Relay Experiment

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