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Posts Tagged ‘translators

exorcising bad translations

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This, my friends, is why Professional Translators are still a necessity.

Il Foglio, an Italian newspaper, has come out critizing the NY Times, who (OMGSTFUBBQ…can’t believe they did this!) used a computer generated translation of an article regarding the Vatican’s response to sexual abuse complaints.

The failure to translate led the American newspaper to argue that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was protecting a sexually abusive priest from Milwaukee.

The article, titled “New York Times does not translate,” starts by saying, “New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd returned to attack the Pope. Commenting on the words of exorcist Gabriele Amorth, who said that behind pedophile priests is the devil, Dowd suggested a way for the Catholic church to solve the problem: hire a ‘sexorcist.'” 1

Learn from this, kiddies.
When the text is important, neither Google Translate, nor Yahoo! BabelFish is truly your friend.

Go to, and find a real, professional translator.
Of course, if your text requires translation from any of French, Portuguese or Spanish to American English, I’ve got you covered, right here.


posted with Xpostulate

Written by tonybaldwin

April 13, 2010 at 1:20 pm

This technology can make the language barrier is gone

with 4 comments

Just for grins…

Engrish Mastars

English Mastary made simple....

First, let me state, for the millionth time, that I ❤ GOOGLE!

I use tonso google stuff…google search, gmail, google calendar (lifesaver!), google reader, google code, google groups, google plumbing, you name it…Google’s got it, I’m using it.  So, I’m not doing this to pick on Google.  Even so, a guy has to protect his own interests, no?  So, in the interest of demonstrating precisely why even the great Google will not supplant professional, human translators, I took yesterday’s NYTimes article on Google Translate, and ran it through Google Translate.  First, I translated it to French, then to Spanish, then back to English.

Now, I have to confess, the result is not unintelligible.  Most readers will be able to make some coherent sense of most of the resulting text.  Nonetheless, there  will be confusion (and laughter).  Now, imagine, if you will, the potential confusion, and quite possibly rather dire consequences were this method of translation used for, say, the instructions on your medication, international treaties, safety regulations, medical device instruction manuals, and a whole smathering of other complex textual materials of important significance.

There’s going to be confusion

That, folks, is why I still have a job.

And now, for your reading pleasure, the resultant text:

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – In a meeting with Google in 2004, the discussion focused on an e-mail the company had received from a fan in South Korea. Sergey Brin, one of the founders of Google, ran the message through an automatic translation service that the company had a license.

The message says that Google is a search engine of your choice, but the result is as follows: “The footwear of sliced raw fish you want. Google the green onion!”

Mr. Brin said Google should be able to do better. Six years later, its free Google Translate supports 52 languages, more than any other similar system, and use hundreds of millions of times a week to translate web pages and other texts.

“What you see on Google Translate is the state of the art in computer translation is not limited to a particular area,” said Alon Lavie, research associate professor in the Language Technologies Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

Google’s efforts to expand beyond Web search has been uneven. Your digital book project, was hanged in the courtyard, and the introduction of its social network, Buzz, has raised fears of intimacy. The model suggests that this can sometimes stumble when it comes to challenge the traditions and conventions of cultural enterprise.

However, Google’s rapid growth to higher levels of translation is a reminder of what can happen when Google releases its power of brute force calculation of complex problems.

The network of data centers built to search the web, now, when united, the biggest team in the world. Google uses this machine to push the limits of translation technology. Last month, for example, said he was working to combine your translation tool with image analysis, allowing a person, for example, taking a photo of a German phone menu and get the machine translation into English.

“Machine translation is one of the best examples that demonstrates the vision of Google, said Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of tech publisher O’Reilly Media.” This is not something that someone no one takes seriously. However, Google understands something about the data that nobody understands and is willing to make the investments needed to address these types of complex problems ahead of the market. “

Creating a machine translation has been considered one of the toughest challenges in artificial intelligence. For decades, scientists tried using a team approach standards – teaching language regime of both languages and dictionaries give necessary.

But in half of the 1990s, researchers began to promote a statistical approach. They found that if they feed thousands or millions of computers and their human translations generated parts, you can learn to make assumptions about the exact form to translate new texts.

It turns out that this technique, which requires huge amounts of data and lots of computing power, Google has increased.

“Our infrastructure is well suited to this” Vic Gundotra, Google engineering vice president, said. “We can not adopt approaches that others can only dream.

Machine translation systems are far from perfect, and even Google’s human translators will not work soon. Experts say it is extremely difficult for a team to break a sentence into two parts, and then bring them back.

But the Google service is good enough to convey the essence of a news article, and became a source for quick translations for millions of people. “If you need a rough-and-ready translation is the place to go,” said Philip Resnik, an expert in machine translation and associate professor of linguistics at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Like its competitors in the field, including Microsoft and IBM, Google has promoted its translation engine transcripts of the United Nations, which are translated by the man in six languages, and the European Parliament, which resulted in 23 . This material is used to form systems most commonly used languages.

However, Google has traveled the Web text, and data from their project to digitize books and other sources to go beyond these languages. For more obscure languages, published a guide to help users with translations, then add the text in its database.

Offer Google could make a big hole in the translation business sale software companies like IBM, but machine translation is not likely to be a great Moneymaker, at least not by the standards of advertising google. But Google’s efforts could bear fruit in several ways.

Because the ads are online everywhere, while making it easier for people to use the Web to benefit society. And the system could have interesting applications. Last week, the company said that using speech recognition to generate English language subtitles for videos from YouTube, which could then be translated into 50 languages.

This technology can make the language barrier is gone,” said Franz Och, Google’s chief scientist who heads the team of the automatic translation company. This would allow anyone to communicate with anyone else. “

Mr. Och, a German researcher who previously worked at the University of Southern California, said he was reluctant to join Google, fearing that it would be the translation as a side project. Larry Page, Google’s other founder, called to reassure him.

“I just said is something that is very important to Google,” he recalled recently by Mr. Och. Mr. Och signed in 2004 and quickly was able to bring the promise of Mr. Page in the test.

While many translation systems such as using Google for one billion words of text to create a model of a language, Google has gone much more: hundreds of billions of few words in English. “The models are getting better the process rather than text,” said Och.

The effort was worth it. A year later, Google has won a competition run by the government that proof of sophisticated translation systems.

Google has used a similar approach – computing power, mounds of data and statistics – to address other complex issues. In 2007, for example, began offering 800-GOOG-411, directory assistance calls free interpretation of spoken. It has allowed Google to get the votes of millions of people who do better in the English speech recognition.

A year later, Google launched a search for the voice system that was as good as the other companies that have taken years to build.

And last year, Google launched a service called glasses, which analyzes the image of the phone, which is an online database of more than one billion images, including pictures of her taken to the streets Street View service.

Mr. Och has acknowledged that the Google translation still needs improvement, but he said he feels better quickly. “The curve of the current quality improvement is still very strong,” he said.

This article was translated by Google, the English, then French, Spanish, then back to English.

TRANSLATORS domain of man!*



*this phrase was “Human Translators Rule!! prior to the above treatment)

Just for fun, I ran that article through Simplied Chinese, then Czech, then back to English, again.

here is that result

Written by tonybaldwin

March 10, 2010 at 10:42 am

Linguas OS, Linux for Translators, current project status: HIJACKED

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Back in 07/08, I created a gnu/linux livecd distribution designed for translators, called Linguas OS.  It was a fun project, but, eventually, due to low demand and lack of support from others in the FREE Software community and translation industry, I closed the project.  The last release was made on Jan. 28, 2008.

This past December, I allowed the domain,, to lapse.


Someone has purchased the domain, and, oddly, reposted material that I wrote to it, including information about TickleTunes. I wouldn’t really care so much if they were posting the ISO for download, and or other code I produced; After all, it’s all fully GPL/FREE/Open Source stuff. What does kind of bother me that they are somehow trying to claim my work as their own and capitalize on it in a sneaky and dishonest manner, and, they have attempted to claim copyrights of material (not code, just written material) that they copied from the old site, that I wrote! That’s definitely not cool. They aren’t offering any free downloads, nor giving up any code. They are posting written material that I WROTE, and images that I CREATED, and claiming copyright to them, which is sheer nonsense. I release all my code under the GPL, so if they were giving that away, I’d be all kinds of happy.  The written material and images from the old linguasos site, that now appear on the new one, however, were either a) my copyrighted material, or b) Creative Commons released to further the purposes of FREE Software and the Linguas Os project, in general.  Nobody else has any right to copyright those materials that I created.

via | wiki | linguasos.

Written by tonybaldwin

February 20, 2010 at 8:19 am

TransProCalc – financial software and project mgmt suite for translators, project mgrs and LSPs

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Here is a screenshot of TransProCalc, the program I wrote in the past two weeks.

TransProCalc is a FREE/Open Source tool for calculating financial and project data for translation projects and generating relevant reports.  TransProCalc has four components, and generates four reports:

  • ProjectEstimate: for calculating charges and expenses and projecting revenue
  • ProjectDocs: for organizing information all project documents (at this date, TPC will handle up to 8 documents for one project), including unit counts, number of target translations, for multiple target languages, etc.
  • ProjectAssign: tracks which documents and translations have been assigned to which providers, how much each provider charges per unit, and calculates total providers expenses for the project.  TPC currently handles up to 5 providers for one project.
  • ProjectOut:  Upon completion, delivery of the project, ProjectOut gathers the relevant financial data and makes a report for invoicing and/or bookkeeping purposes.

Written by tonybaldwin

February 18, 2008 at 10:00 pm

First of many…

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I am a translator and interpreter (English, French, Spanish and Portuguese),
and a Linux geek.
I dig skating, both old school quad/rink rollerskating, and inline aggressive skating.

I created:

– Free (FOSS), cross-platform translation project management software.

I created:

– Linux for Translators.

I am the owner of:
– Translating and Linguistic Services.

Written by tonybaldwin

February 18, 2008 at 9:03 pm