Jan 29, 2011

Mr. Google’s Ability to Translate

I had my journal translated from English into Japanese by Google.

the original text
the translation by Google
the translation by yagian

Honestly speaking I can’t use Google translate at all. I will point out some of the mistakes, which Google made.

Although a German word might have just one corresponding English word, an English can be translated into many different Japanese words depending on the context.

Recently I have tweeted in English and written journals on my weblog in English and Japanese.

最近、私は英語でつぶやいたが、私の雑誌を書いて ウェブログ 日本語と英語。


In this context I used the word "journal" to mean "diary" on my weblog by the word "journal", but Google automatically translated "journal" into "雑誌(zashi)" which means "magazine" in Japanese.

Google can't translate a complex sentence appropriately, especially one which includes a relative pronoun.

I understand the English grammar that I learned in school at least, but when I write something in English I actually don't know which is suitable "a" or "the".



The word order in the Japanese sentence, which was translated by Google, isn't really appropriate. So much so that I can't understand the meaning of it at all. It is almost impossible even to guess it.

On the other hand, Google can appropriately translate a simple English sentence into a Japanese one with the same word order.

I can't accept any of those words completely, but I guess that "understand" is most appropriate.



It isn't a perfect translation, but I can guess its meaning.

But in some other cases Google translated an English sentence into a Japanese one with the same word order, and the translation doesn't sounded natural in Japanese.

I looked up "sympathize" in a thesaurus, and I found the following words.



Sometimes translations by Google aren't correct in grammar. If Google used a spell check function like MS Word, its translation would be readable.

I like Linus in the comic "Peanuts", because I can understand what he feels and thinks of.

私の好きな ナスを の彼が何を感じていると考えて理解することができますのがあるので"漫画ピーナッツ"。


This sentence isn't so complicated, so I can’t understand the reason why Google translated it into such odd Japanese. I can't ignore the mixture of a polite form and a casual form.

When you translate English to Japanese, you should not make a literal translation. You should interpret the meaning of the original sentence deeply and make up a natural sounding Japanese sentence. It might be difficult for software to do it.

I'd like to know a web service that can translate Japanese into English, and English into Japanese adequately.

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