Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - Online translators. A cautionary tale.

Online translators. A cautionary tale.

Do you have a translation question?

Online translators. A cautionary tale.

Postby AJBryant » Tue 09.08.2009 10:53 pm

This came up in another forum I'm on, and I thought I'd share the info here.

We often talk about the problems with online translation (Google, Yahoo, etc.). The thing is, they usually produce gibberish. Sometimes, however, it's not gibberish. It's just horribly, horribly wrong.

Here's a news story about Seattle Mariners Ichiro's reaction to his 2,000th hit in the US major leagues: http://www.sanspo.com/mlb/news/090908/m ... 005-n1.htm

At one point, the Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu says Ichiro could probably play until he's 50. That's the heading of the section. In the original, ワカマツ監督は50歳までやれると. So... how does Google translate that? "Director Wakamatsu is 50 years old and fuckable".

Here's the translation via Google:

http://translate.google.com/translate?h ... google.com

So.

Let that be a warning to you all about the use of online translators.


Tony
User avatar
AJBryant
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5313
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 11:29 am
Location: Indiana
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Re: Online translators. A cautionary tale.

Postby phreadom » Tue 09.08.2009 11:22 pm

Luckily I generally rely on Excite for quick machine translations...

Excite wrote:When supervisor [wakamatsu] can do up to 50 years old.


Not great, but certainly better than Google. ;)
猿も木から落ちる
User avatar
phreadom
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1762
Joined: Sun 01.29.2006 8:43 pm
Location: Michigan, USA
Native language: U.S. English (米語)
Gender: Male

Re: Online translators. A cautionary tale.

Postby AJBryant » Tue 09.08.2009 11:25 pm

Unless you're Wakamatsu and trolling for dates. ;)
User avatar
AJBryant
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5313
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 11:29 am
Location: Indiana
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Re: Online translators. A cautionary tale.

Postby phreadom » Tue 09.08.2009 11:41 pm

AJBryant wrote:Unless you're Wakamatsu and trolling for dates. ;)


:lol: I busted out laughing so hard I kind of hurt my throat. :P
猿も木から落ちる
User avatar
phreadom
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1762
Joined: Sun 01.29.2006 8:43 pm
Location: Michigan, USA
Native language: U.S. English (米語)
Gender: Male

Re: Online translators. A cautionary tale.

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 09.08.2009 11:57 pm

This is the best bit of machine translation I've ever seen.

Thanks for brightening my day, Tony!
Want to learn Japanese the right way? How about for free?
Ippatsu // Japanesetesting.com
User avatar
Harisenbon
 
Posts: 2964
Joined: Tue 06.14.2005 3:24 am
Location: Gifu, Japan
Native language: (poor) English

Re: Online translators. A cautionary tale.

Postby chikara » Wed 09.09.2009 12:27 am

The first expedition in Auckland was hit on the head or a coin of the ice and flies ......

Dang those ice and flies in Auckland although, in my experience, ice is more a problem than flies on the other side of the dutch (sic) ;)

Auckland Athletics has a nice ring to it.
Don't complain to me that people kick you when you're down. It's your own fault for lying there
User avatar
chikara
 
Posts: 3577
Joined: Tue 07.11.2006 10:48 pm
Location: Australia (SA)
Native language: English (Australian)
Gender: Male

Re: Online translators. A cautionary tale.

Postby furrykef » Wed 09.09.2009 3:31 am

rofl. Even I understood the sentence better than that. :lol: (I didn't see Tony's translation next to it until after I already tried to read it.)

I actually was pretty close; the only part I messed up on was that I didn't realize that the と signified a quote, so I was confused on Wakamatsu's role in the sentence.

- Kef
Founder of Learning Languages Through Video Games.
Also see my lang-8 journal, where you can help me practice Japanese (and Spanish, and Italian!)
User avatar
furrykef
 
Posts: 1572
Joined: Thu 01.10.2008 9:20 pm
Native language: Eggo (ワッフル語の方言)
Gender: Male

Re: Online translators. A cautionary tale.

Postby astaroth » Wed 09.09.2009 4:32 am

furrykef wrote:I didn't realize that the と signified a quote, so I was confused on Wakamatsu's role in the sentence.

Oh yeah me too ... also at first I didn't understand what ワカマツ meant (I tend not to pay attention to names when I read ...)
ー 流光 ー

   花地世
小  見獄の
林  かの中
一  な上は
茶   の 
User avatar
astaroth
 
Posts: 823
Joined: Mon 12.22.2008 5:08 am
Location: Amherst, MA
Native language: Italiano「伊語」

Re: Online translators. A cautionary tale.

Postby clay » Wed 09.09.2009 7:51 am

We should create a ranking list for these gems. This one may be #1 for a long time. Of course we would need certified Photoshop-free screenshots since the online translators can always update their code. 8)
TheJapanShop.com- Japanese language learning materials
Checkout our iPhone apps: TheJapanesePage.com/iPhone
User avatar
clay
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2809
Joined: Fri 01.21.2005 9:39 am
Location: Florida

Re: Online translators. A cautionary tale.

Postby katafei » Wed 09.09.2009 3:20 pm

Now what fascinates me most is why Tony is using an online translator :lol:
User avatar
katafei
 
Posts: 1766
Joined: Sun 07.09.2006 9:56 am
Location: A'veen
Native language: Dutch; Female

Re: Online translators. A cautionary tale.

Postby AJBryant » Wed 09.09.2009 3:40 pm

As I said, this appeared in another forum I'm on. I'm just passing along the translation-fail goodness.
User avatar
AJBryant
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5313
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 11:29 am
Location: Indiana
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Re: Online translators. A cautionary tale.

Postby Oracle » Wed 09.09.2009 10:00 pm

Hilarious :D

In that case I think everyone will get a kick out of this site ( if it hasn't been showcased here before)

http://translationparty.com/

It bounces translations back and forth between English and Japanese using the google translate service..
Really shows how bad online translators can be!
User avatar
Oracle
 
Posts: 537
Joined: Mon 02.13.2006 9:03 am
Native language: English

Re: Online translators. A cautionary tale.

Postby astaroth » Thu 09.10.2009 1:31 am

This reminds me of an experiment Moravia, an Italian poet, once tried: he wrote a poem and submitted to a translator who then had to send to another translator (of a third different language) and so on for a twenty or so passages until the last translation was to be back to Italian.
At the end they compared the original with the final version and ... two completely different poems, not only in how they were written but also in the meaning.
ー 流光 ー

   花地世
小  見獄の
林  かの中
一  な上は
茶   の 
User avatar
astaroth
 
Posts: 823
Joined: Mon 12.22.2008 5:08 am
Location: Amherst, MA
Native language: Italiano「伊語」

Re: Online translators. A cautionary tale.

Postby Kennymon » Sun 09.20.2009 10:48 pm

I hope this doesn't count as spam - I just had to post this here.


http://translationparty.com/#4335629
Phrase: "I was not going to say that this is completely hilarious."


Then I realized there should be a "was" instead of "is", I tried again and out came this:


http://translationparty.com/#4335662
Phrase: "I was not going to say that this was completely hilarious."


The latter just had me choking on my slice of toast from laughing. I mean, how on earth...?!
Kennymon
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed 03.22.2006 4:28 am
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Native language: German / ドイツ語


Return to Translation Questions or Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests