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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Paul_Ward's Avatar
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    Google translate any good?
    I've just come across this (though I'm sure it's been around for ages!):

    http://translate.google.com/translate_t

    I know the problems that automatic translators give with some non-sensical changes, but maybe - it's possible to use it to build foreign language versions of existing pages?

    Am I being too hopeful? Has anyone tried it to make pages on their own site?

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    I think these online translators are all crap and have'nt progressed much in the last 5 or so years.

    I ran a bit of a product description through this one. (and back)

    Gold does not easily chip or splinter, meaning this wedding band will last as long as your love. ...english

    The gold does not jump easily or the chip, meaning this bandage of the wedding will last while your love....spanish

    The gold and silver it does not cut easily small and or the fragment which means this wedding band grudge you love will be continued.... korean

  3. #3
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    it's a tough one.
    I think if you want to use these translation programs, you might want to hire a temp that is fluent in english-spanish, english-WhateverLanguage to fix up the errors. It would suck if you piss off your visitor by insulting them via the translation.

    Language is always evolving and it will have different connotations through time. Also, what might be taboo in Honduras might be totally acceptable in US. It is not easy going dual language esp if you are a merchant but if you are able to transition w/o falling on your face, the market is wide open.
    Quote Originally Posted by simcat
    I think these online translators are all crap and have'nt progressed much in the last 5 or so years.

    I ran a bit of a product description through this one. (and back)

    Gold does not easily chip or splinter, meaning this wedding band will last as long as your love. ...english

    The gold does not jump easily or the chip, meaning this bandage of the wedding will last while your love....spanish

    The gold and silver it does not cut easily small and or the fragment which means this wedding band grudge you love will be continued.... korean

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FairFieldGetaway-EricEwe
    it's a tough one.
    I think if you want to use these translation programs, you might want to hire a temp that is fluent in english-spanish, english-WhateverLanguage to fix up the errors. It would suck if you piss off your visitor by insulting them via the translation..
    Good point Eric. A translator, especially one who is also website savvy is always a safe hedge. Years ago an acquaintance used some software to supposedly translate a site to Spanish and he had all kinds of mis quotes in the translation. Some of them were really funny (in retrospect) but it was a disaster at the time.

    In reality, it's easy to find, and inexpensive to use a real person who knows the language and then you get it right the first time.
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  5. #5
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    Although I can't communicate effectively in any language other than English, I've had enough exposure to Spanish, French, and German that I certainly can discover some very obvious translation mistakes in the online systems. Instead of calling them "translation" systems, I call them "transliteration" systems because they just substitute individual words without almost no attention to context or idiom.

    My wife is organizing the Parent-Teacher Organization for her daughter's elementary school) and she's been struggling to get flyers translated into Spanish (about half of the parents don't speak English, and only a few parents and teachers are truly fluent in both Spanish and English).

    She's tried several different online translation systems, including Google and AltaVista's babelfish, but she always asks a bilingual person (another parent or teacher) to review and "fix" them. Each time, she is warned never to rely on the online systems because something in the Spanish-translation was quite dreadful.

    And yet, even after flyers are "fixed" by someone at the school, I sometimes find "obvious" mistakes in the "approved" Spanish translations. (I took one year of Spanish in high school [in 1976-77], and made a feeble "self-education" effort to improve my Spanish-language skills in 2002, with little success.)

    At one point, my wife asked a friend who is a native Spanish-speaker (born and raised in Mexico, and attended university there) to translate some materials -- and then when she submitted the flyer for review, someone at the school said it was dreadful, too, and made a number of corrections. That certainly confused us. I suspect that the "dreadful mistakes" may actually not be about "correct Spanish" but about "the best way to communicate to Spanish-speaking parents who have very limited education." It may also be that our "bilingual" people are less fluent in Spanish than we'd like to believe.

    My favorite translation story: in the summer of 1982, I worked as a summer intern for a computer magazine, and was asked to look at a new computer from Sanyo or Sony. After many hours of effort, I finally concluded that it would be impossible to get the computer to work because the manual had merely been "transliterated" from Japanese to English, and was simply incomprehensible. (I probably don't remember this correctly, but I think the Japanese language does not have "articles" like "the," "a," and "an," nor some possessive forms like "his" or "her," and sentence structure is quite different -- so merely substituting words using a Japanese-to-English dictionary failed to translate the actual meaning of each sentence.)

  6. #6
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    I tried the translator a few years back to build a Mexican Food page. It turned out to be quite comical when my Spanish-speaking friends took a look at it.

    In short, it will work for very rough translation, but if you try to make a page selling anything, it will come across the same way as the SPAM emails do that we get everyday from foreign lands. Kind of like "I want sale you cialis! Do you want?" that I got just today.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  7. #7
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    I have used Google English to French a lot when booking hotels for holidays over the internet.

    It does a pretty good job, and saves me coping with putting the accented characters in. Usually a few minor tweaks are all that are needed, and sometimes it is spot on.

    However I always put the orignal English in the emails in bottom, in case I have missed any errors.

    On the other hand last year I put the German travel directions to a house builder in Germany that I wanted to visit into Google and the resulting english was quite hilarious as Google had not quite got the hang of what I presume are common German traffic direction terms.

    In the end I went to www.mappy.fr and printed off the route map from there

    I have just checked and The Google German to English is still as bad so I have pasted the results in below for you all to enjoy
    (almost wondered in this needs to go in Daily Chuckle forum)


    ===============================================
    Description of starting:
    Over the A45:
    From direction Dortmund victories Bend exit Haiger Burbach B54/B255 to long cock highway to Freilingen right on the B8 to stones, left on the highway to hard rock (starting from motorway exit approx. 45 km)

    From direction pouring Exit Herborn west B255 to long cock highway to Freilingen right on the B8 to stones to the left bend on the highway to hard rock (starting from motorway exit approx. 45 km) over the A3:

    From direction Frankfurt/Main (A3) or Koblenz (A48) up to the Dernbacher triangle, from there from far direction Cologne (A3), next exit Ransbach Baumbach, highway over Selters and Maxsain after hard rock (starting from motorway exit approx. 11km)

    From direction Cologne Exit Dierdorf B413 to Herschbach highway over thigh mountain after hard rock (starting from motorway exit approx. 14km)
    =================================

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    One use for this:
    google translator can be used as a form of proxy....use english to english

    http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/h/4807

  9. #9
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    I've been doing technical english to spanish translations for a software company and for several casino websites and there is so much work that I'm several months behind at any given time.

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