March 3rd, 2007

internacia

機械翻訳は吸う!

I once heard a story about an early attempt to write translation software. I don't know if it's true or not, but according to the story, they gave it the test phrase "Out of sight, out of mind" and asked the machine to translate it into Russian. It outputted something in Russian, which they ran back through the machine into English, and got the result: "Invisible idiot".

I decided to try it with Altavista just now.
"Out of sight, out of mind."
into Russian yields
"Из визирования, из разума."
which taken back into English yields
"From the sighting, from the reason."

D'oh! At least it's not as ridiculous as "invisible idiot". Saaay, what if I tried Japanese?

"Out of sight, out of mind."
becomes
「心からの視力から。」
which becomes
"From vision from heart."

No wonder appliance instructions written by the manufacturer overseas are so incomprehensible.
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