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Translation Machines Work! (but how?)

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  • Onno Pater
    Thank you for the links to translation machines. My experience is that these things *suck* as far as reliable translation results is concerned. Nonetheless
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2005
      Thank you for the links to translation machines. My experience is
      that these things *suck* as far as reliable translation results is
      concerned. Nonetheless they can be the source of much fun! I entered
      some "spontaneous writing" in Dutch at both of the provided web
      pages, and got some interesting results. Just a little fun...

      Machine 1: http://babelfish.altavista.com/tr

      Er was eens een vis, en die heette xBabelx. Wat een mooie vis was
      dat! Hij zwom de hele oceaan door, van continent tot continent zwom
      hij. Hij zwom zowel 's nachts als overdag. Onder en over het water
      zwom het dier. Grote zwermen roze vogels omringden hem.

      There was once a fish, and those were called xBabelx. What a
      beautiful fish was that! He swam the complete ocean, from continent
      to continent he swam. He swam both at night and by day. Under and
      concerning water the animal swam. Large swarming roze birds
      surrounded him.

      The middle portion of the English translation here is surprisingly
      accurate. I would say this 'machine' works pretty good, for a
      machine. But 'it' fails in its ability to make a distinction between
      verbs and plural forms, and thus it translates "zwermen"
      as "swarming", instead of "swarms". Amongst many other shortcomings.
      And why 'it' didn't translate "roze" as pink, as was de bedoeling?

      Machine 2: http://dictionary.reference.com/translate/text.html

      "Gezellige avond samen", sprak de bediende bij het
      binnenkomen. "Waarmee kan ik u van dienst zijn? Een wijntje,
      misschien?" Niemand wist dat er een geladen revolver in de binnenzak
      van zijn jacquet schuilde, geladen met radioactieve gloeikogels, die
      bij binnentreding in het lichaam ogenblikkelijk een vurige explosie
      teweegbrachten. De heren zaten op een merkwaardige wijze
      teruggetrokken in hun gerieflijke fauteuils, lichtelijk achterover
      hellend. Enigszins argwanend strekte de bediende met gespitste ogen
      zijn nek uit, vastgenageld op één plaats. De kat miauwde en sprong
      plotseling bovenop zijn hoofd, waar ze drie seconden bleef hangen,
      haar klauwen in zijn schedeldak geslagen. Toen liet ze plotseling los
      en sprong tien meter verderop, in de lampekap.

      "sociable evening together", spoke the clerk at coming in. With which
      can be I you of service? Wijntje, perhaps? Nobody knew that there a
      charged revolver in the binnenzak of its morning coat hid, charged
      with radioactive gloeikogels, which brought about an enthusiastic
      explosion at binnentreding in the body immediately. The lords sat in
      a remarkable manner withdrawn in their gerieflijke fauteuils,
      lichtelijk inclined. Slightly suspiciously the clerk with pierced
      eyes stretched its ring from, nailed at one place. The cat miaowed
      and jumped suddenly on top of its head, where them three continued
      hang seconden, its claws in its skull roof beaten. Then suddenly
      loose and jumped ten meters left them verderop, in the lamp-shade.

      I hope you have enough sense of humour to appreciate this. If you
      fail to see what's funny, please learn from this not to rely on
      translation machines. They *suck*. Even as a dictionary I would never
      try to rely on them. Just get yourself a book...or a Dutch spouse!

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