Finer points lost in Google translation

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Hege Jakobsen Lepri  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:38
Member (2002)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Not just the finer points... Feb 6, 2012

Generally even the main point is lost with google translate.
It's amazing what Mt can do with basic texts about nuts and bolts, when 2/3 of the occurances of "nut" is translated as a fruit that grows on a tree...


 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:38
French to English
+ ...
"logical languages" Feb 7, 2012

*Sigh*

 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:38
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
How interesting... Feb 7, 2012

As it happens often in life, a big lie is hidden behind a smaller lie. Google Translator also misses the big points, but by saying that it misses the fine point, it sounds like a better solution than it is.

 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:38
Hebrew to English
Google Translate is a glorified dictionary. Feb 7, 2012

That's all.

It's sometimes useful for looking up words quickly - but putting sentences together? No.

It can't even handle simple declarative sentences (with the most simplistic language - saying nothing of abbreviations, acronyms, idioms, slang, jargon etc.)

Logical Languages


Whilst all languages have some logic, they are equally chaotic (where's the logic in irregular verbs?)...there is no such thing as a "logical language" and I can only second Neil's sentiment *sigh*.


 

Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 20:38
German to English
+ ...
Now there's an understatement if ever I saw one! Feb 7, 2012

The understated heading does not provide sufficient warning for the horrors revealed in the main body of the text. A casual reader might get the impression that this is an isolated occurrence applicable only to the French-English language pair and direction, or an affliction borne only by Canadians. Oh no, it is much more pervasive and insidious.

I agree with others that Google is useful to jog the memory when one's vocabulary remains stuck on the tip of one's tongue. Even then, there are dangers. In its current format it can never ever be the one and only port of call, and will never be an adequate one-stop solution to the complex process of achieving a successful and accurate translation.

As I am sure others are, I am extremely glad my natural writing style defies Google's translation ability, no matter how logical the underlying thoughts contained in the prose thus produced. I do not seek to confound, but I'll - here's one for Google!icon_smile.gif - eat my knickers before I simplify my language into "logical" linguistic units for a non human to process into what, regrettably, is also called a translation.
(End of rant.) *Heavy sigh.*


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:38
Member (2008)
Italian to English
What Google translate doesn't understand Feb 7, 2012

Allison Wright wrote:

eat my knickers


Sorry if I'm quoting you out of context, Allison.

Any statement, including any written document, even of a highly technical kind, is criss-crossed by undercurrents of nuance and allusion.

Google translate doesn't understand that.

Languages are alive. They're not just words.


 

Eileen Cartoon  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:38
Italian to English
Getting the gist Feb 7, 2012

I am currently studying a new language (Hebrew to be exact) and have been using Google Translate when doing my homework.

It is great for giving you the gist of something but horrible (and I mean really horrible) in the sense of real translation.
I suppose it could be useful for a company that receives an e-mail and wants to get the gist before determining how to proceed. But I would not recommend answering with Google.

However, for my purposes it is just great.
Eileen


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:38
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
We are probably sick but... Feb 7, 2012

Allison Wright wrote:
"eat my knickers"

Maybe we are a sick people, but this idea of eating knickers, and more particularly their elastic band, is an expression of intense --albeit rather rude-- desire. End of this completely useless information you probably did not want this evening.


 

Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 20:38
German to English
+ ...
We are probably sick but... Feb 7, 2012

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Allison Wright wrote:
"eat my knickers"

Maybe we are a sick people, but this idea of eating knickers, and more particularly their elastic band, is an expression of intense --albeit rather rude-- desire. End of this completely useless information you probably did not want this evening.


Yes, Tomás, taken literally it is does not conjure up a salubrious image in my mind either [especially the elastic particon_smile.gif]. Admittedly, I could have said "eat my hat", but Google has probably got the gist of that by now. This knickers expression - as with many other once cogent phrases in English, have long since lost their "sting" and have joined the ranks of a host of other platitudes.

You and Tom in London have given me an unexpectedly good laugh. Thank you!


 


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Finer points lost in Google translation

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