Google Translate in the office

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Power Translate  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:52
English to German
+ ...
"Gisting" is the only sensible use Aug 26, 2011

I agree, if I read something in a foreign language and I want to know what it says, it's a good idea. But one should be careful using tools like Google Translate to translate from one's mothertongue into another language. Insert the sentence "Ich traue dem Frieden nicht" ("I don't trust the peace" - literally translated) and what you get is "I trust the peace" - The complete opposite. That could be potentially dangerous and misunderstandings are unavoidable.

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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:52
French to English
+ ...
Dangers Aug 26, 2011

The article seems to imply that the main problem with MT is aesthetic. I think this is a dangerous position. Because of the way it works, MT can do pretty much the opposite, i.e. make disastrous errors while still maintaining an air of fluency: http://www.french-linguistics.co.uk/translation-service/machine_translation_disasters.html

Incidentally, the word "gist" is surely centuries old (it comes from now obsolete French verb "gît", 'lies', when the verb was in common use and the "s" was pronounced). Albeit in its verbal guise, it seems a slightly extraordinary claim to suggest that this is a "verb of the future".


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:52
French to German
+ ...
Also... Aug 26, 2011

Neil Coffey wrote:

The article seems to imply that the main problem with MT is aesthetic. I think this is a dangerous position. Because of the way it works, MT can do pretty much the opposite, i.e. make disastrous errors while still maintaining an air of fluency: http://www.french-linguistics.co.uk/translation-service/machine_translation_disasters.html

Incidentally, the word "gist" is surely centuries old (it comes from now obsolete French verb "gît", 'lies', when the verb was in common use and the "s" was pronounced). Albeit in its verbal guise, it seems a slightly extraordinary claim to suggest that this is a "verb of the future".


from the Latin "jacere" like in "Hic jacet..." - it is very present and "very dead" (no future for that matter).

[Edited at 2011-08-26 14:05 GMT]


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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:52
French to English
+ ...
Previous usage of "gist"/"gésir" Aug 26, 2011

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:
from the Latin "jacere" like in "Hic jacet..." - it is very present and "very dead" (no future for that matter).


Absolutely, just with the observation that, while we tend to think of "gésir"/"(ci) gît" as being an archaism largely restricted to tombstones, up until c. 1600 it seems to have been a reasonably ordinary verb with a variety of meanings. As well as litearlly meaning "to be lying down" and associated manings (including "to give birth"), it also had figurative meanings similar to "lie" in English, i.e. "to reside/be inherent in...", "to be dependent upon...". So the meaning in English comes from equivalent French expressions where you could effectively say "There lies the issue/heart of the matter" using the verb "gist" > "gît". (Expressions such as "Là gît le problème", "C'est là que gît le problème" still appear to be just about possible in contemporary French, but are obvious archaisms.)


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:52
French to German
+ ...
Absolutely Aug 26, 2011

Neil Coffey wrote:

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:
from the Latin "jacere" like in "Hic jacet..." - it is very present and "very dead" (no future for that matter).


Absolutely, just with the observation that, while we tend to think of "gésir"/"(ci) gît" as being an archaism largely restricted to tombstones, up until c. 1600 it seems to have been a reasonably ordinary verb with a variety of meanings. As well as litearlly meaning "to be lying down" and associated manings (including "to give birth"), it also had figurative meanings similar to "lie" in English, i.e. "to reside/be inherent in...", "to be dependent upon...". So the meaning in English comes from equivalent French expressions where you could effectively say "There lies the issue/heart of the matter" using the verb "gist" > "gît". (Expressions such as "Là gît le problème", "C'est là que gît le problème" still appear to be just about possible in contemporary French, but are obvious archaisms.)


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
Quite Aug 26, 2011

Neil Coffey wrote:
Because of the way it works, MT can do pretty much the opposite, i.e. make disastrous errors while still maintaining an air of fluency


I get your gist

No seriously, some enlightening comments coming up here. As a bit of a git myself, I always wondered where the "agit" in "de quoi s'agit-il ?" came from, imagining it to be something to do with agitation...


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