1. Mans
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    Mans Contributing Member

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    Google translate is sometimes wrong?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Mans, Feb 8, 2014.

    Recently, I referred to " google translate" to find the meaning of a Farsi ( Persian) word in English. What I was seeking for was " being in a hurry" and when I taped my requesting, it responded, " rush". So I wrote it in a comment and posted it. But when I referred to an English to English dictionary I saw amazed, the meaning of " rush" are these " noun- raid, rush, attack, assault, offensive, onslaught Also - edema, jump, leap, rising, tumor- rivulet, coulee, fluor, rill, acequia - acceleration, post .stream, gutter, cut, kennel, runnel,.." " verb - Attack,bound, jump, leap, lunge, ...". I became shameful, because I had posted a comment with an improper and wrong word.
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Translation software has a long way to go before it will be accurate.
     
  3. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Any automatic translator will very (very very very) often be wrong. But in this case, "rush" means generally what you want, though I'd have to see the sentence to know if you want "rush", "rushed", "rushing"...
     
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  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    translate is particularly bad for words with multiple meanings. It's a statistical engine, based on comparison of a body of translated documents and articles.

    Last year the translation to Italian of English "the sound of music" was "tutti insieme apassionatamente". A completely incorrect translation, except it was the name of the famous Julie Andrews film in Italy.
     
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  5. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    One way you can 'work' Google translate, is to translate it back. In other words, put the translated word or phrase in as if you were searching for that instead. It's amazing how many times the two don't match!

    I use Google translate, but only if I know something about the language I'm working with. Phrases can be difficult, because of the idiomatic factor. Somebody says: up your nose with a rubber hose. What we mean is, shove off, get lost, not on your nelly, stick it where the sun don't shine, etc. Well, try translating THAT. Or any of the other phrases mentioned. Then realise the same thing is happening in reverse, from the other language. You'll get a literal translation, which may not have the same meaning in the language you want.

    Little trick. If it's an idiomatic phrase, or a direct order (ie. go to hell—anyone can, versus go to hell!—YOU!) ...put it into the search engine with an exclamation mark at the end of it. That tells the machine that this is meant to be a saying, and may not have literal meaning. I've come up with the correct translation many times, using this little game. (Not necessarily that example.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
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  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    All I can add is that I am truly heartened that translation algorithms are still in the fetal stage. I'd be out of a job were it otherwise.
     
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  7. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think if you right click on the offered translation you get a list of alternatives. Of course that means you're back to the dictionary.
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    No, rush does mean to be in a hurry. It simply also means a number of other things. All languages tend to multitask individual words. Look up the word set in your English dictionary. I promise you will be gobsmacked at the bewildering number of meanings, usages, and parts of speech the word set must shoulder. The word shoulder, which I just used, is a part of the human body, the outside edge of a road, and as a verb it means to carry or be burdened by. Such is the paradigm of language. ;)
     
  9. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    Wreybies, what languages can you translate?

    To the OP, I'm in the same boat. The protagonist is American but "skypes" with a bi-lingual Iranian. Her English is exceptional, but he is in the early stages of learning Farsi. I'm using my experience of learning Spanish from the people I work with to help me draw the scene.

    As some of my experience, in Spanish, bonita can mean pretty, but also nice.

    And then there is the gender inflections.

    And then there is the gender inflections: muchacho vs. muchacha, hermano vs. hermana.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  10. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    English, Spanish, Russian. ;)
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i don't think you'll be out of a job in this lifetime, wrey... AI has not come so far yet as to be able to replace the human mind with anything near exactitude...

    and none of the translation programs work well for more than a single word...
     
  12. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I'd have to see your post, but in this case I think google translate actually did a good job. "Being in a hurry" is the most common use of rush or rushed, and that's the meaning that anyone would assume in context.
     
  13. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Think of bonita as being closer to lovely in use and context.

    "She's a lovely girl"

    "Well, isn't that lovely!"
     
  14. Mans
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    Mans Contributing Member

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    I don't use Google translate as a translator often, but sometimes use it as a dictionary. My critique about Google was that, It even sometimes mistakes in a single word ( or maybe I am in mistake ). This makes it lower than a simple online dictionary. I think, Google has to improve its translator as a complete dictionary at least. I previously used the Babylon dictionary. It was an excellent dictionary. you can even use it as an professional scientific dictionary ( if you install the particular relevant files which is along with the Babylon software ). For example, you can install the medicine file so the thousands of professional medicine words will be available for you. Or you can install the astronomic, Geographic, electronic, psychology, aviation, mechanic , social engineering... to access the thousands of their special words. When I installed some of these supplement files, If I even typed "Shakespeare" ( in Persian language ), Babylon demonstrated a lot of explanation about him ( among his biography ). That dictionary was a comprehensive and accurate dictionary. Its another advantage was that, when you clicked on a word, it did translate the word immediately ( Without the need for typing the word). As far as I know, it worked for every formal language in the world. Google is not so, When you type an geography word as Moldavia in its text box, it doesn't show any information about that. Or when you type the name of a famous or historical character it hasn't any explanation about. However, at present which I haven't any online dictionary, Google translate is the only my assistant.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  15. Mans
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    Mans Contributing Member

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    This is the sentences that I wrote in my post :

     
  16. Poziga
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    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

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    I study translations and one of the assistants showed us this in one of his lectures. A german professor is working on a translation program, which can translate also figures of speech, phrases... He was nominated for his work. Not good for young generation of translators.

     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Those alternatives are nearly always shades of meaning on the same interpretation of the foreign word, like invoking a thesaurus on the first translation word(s). The original translation is still usually based on the most popular translation on the input, or a particular sub-phrase. And popular is calculated from the body of translated texts in Google's database.

    That sounds like a lot, and it is for the most popular languages and widely used words and phrases. Where it really gets screwed up is in specialty vocabulary. Consider the word "express". Let's narrow it to a verb context. Google will translate it to a meaning along the lines of forming words to communicate an idea, because most of the translated text Google sees uses that meaning. But if you were translating medical articles, "express" is far more likely to mean "expel fluid by applying pressure to surrounding tissue".

    This sounds like a contrived example, but it's a real-world translation problem I have encountered in my own work. Not that specific word, but that kind of specialized meaning of common words.
     
  18. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I wouldn't worry just yet. Google Translate uses his algorithm now, as we speak, and the translations it provides are not close to good enough for actual, professional use. The video also makes the statement: "In a few years the translations will be good enough for interpreters to use." That statement is nonsense insomuch as no professional interpreter in their right mind would make use of a platform that replaces them.
     
  19. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    This was the correct use of "rushing". There were other errors, but that wasn't an error.
     
  20. Robert_S
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    I thought hermosa was beautiful/lovely, but bonita was a lesser degree of comely, like pretty or nice.
     
  21. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It is, you're not wrong, but in its scope, use and syntactic function, it works a bit more like lovely. Words are always patterns of use to me. It's an interpreter thing. :) Their exact meaning is just the surface importance to me. I'm always more interested in how they interact with other words, what structures they form and predict, how they change when surrounding words change.
     
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  22. Mans
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    Mans Contributing Member

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    I didn't know, because I found it in a dictionary as " attack". The similar word to " rush " was " onrush" which it did mean " attack" as well.
     
  23. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Truth spoken here. I am not a translator per se, but translation is an aspect of my work. There are uses for automated translation, but human oversight is essential even in limited use of those translations. For more exacting applications, like translating medical monographs, even professional human translation is followed by expert reviewers who are not only familiar with both languages, but who are also experts in the subject matter being translated.

    Human translators are highly regarded professionals, and no machine will be supplanting them in this generation. Perhaps someday, but that day will not come until machines are fully sentient citizens.
     
  24. ChickenFreak
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    I should have said "this was a correct use of rushing". The "attack" meaning is also a correct usage, as in:

    As soon as the sun went down, the vampires rushed their location and killed them all.

    This is a less common usage; it has a sort of archaic flavor to me, but maybe that's just me.
     
  25. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Nope, not just you. I taste it too. ;)
     

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