DO NOT POST MACHINE TRANSLATIONS

By Cinefactus, in 'English to Latin Translation', Nov 2, 2008.

  1. Cinefactus Censor

    • Censor
    Location:
    litore aureo
    Do not use machine translators for Latin.
    THEY ARE INVARIABLY WRONG

    Please DO NOT post results of these translators in our forum.
    DO NOT post their output and ask what they mean. It is impossible to know.
    DO NOT post them as an alternative translation. They are gibberish.
    DO NOT use them to check a translation you have been given. It is insulting and you will be flamed.

    YES This rule does apply to you. If you break this rule, your thread may be locked or deleted.

    You are better off just providing what you would like translated in English. Pretending that these translations are the result of your 'research' makes you look pretentious and foolish.

    If you have tattooed yourself with one of these translations, and you would like confirmation that it is wrong, you may post to this thread. We will leave any mistranslations on the thread to serve as a warning to others.

    Some threads with examples of mistranslations can be found here, here, here and here.

    You can see some examples of celebrities with garbled machine translations tattooed upon themselves here and here, as well as some external links discussing gibberish Latin tattoos:
    http://www.classicalturns.com/Oddities(1874997).htm
    http://www.neatorama.com/2010/01/28/never-use-google-translate-to-generate-the-text-of-your-tattoo/
    http://waywardclassics.blogspot.com/2010/01/latin-tattoos.html

    On similarly unfortunate note, some discussion of deliberate mistranslations posted on the internet can be found here.

    There is some discussion of Google's Latin translation service here. The quality is certainly better than the previous alternative. Instead of a series of semi-random words, it looks like a translation provided by someone who failed Latin badly. In fact it is unable to correctly translate even the most basic exercises from beginners' Latin textbooks.

    Caveat compuncturus. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
  2. Cinefactus Censor

    • Censor
    Location:
    litore aureo
    Re: Sticky: WARNING RE INTERNET TRANSLATORS

    This picture of the Beijing restaurant named, "Translate server error", is currently doing the rounds. It gives some idea as to the accuracy of internet translators...

    [IMG]
  3. Anonymous Guest

    Re: Sticky: WARNING RE INTERNET TRANSLATORS

    I know what you mean. I once tried to use an online translator to change some computer instructions into French. The recipient wrote back wondering why I kept talking about a waitress. The actual word was "server".
  4. Gregorius Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Re: Sticky: WARNING RE INTERNET TRANSLATORS

    Yep. Automatic translators are most often only good for one thing: a good laugh!
  5. Matthaeus Vemortuicida strenuus

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Ludoviciana
    Re: Sticky: WARNING RE INTERNET TRANSLATORS

    So why do they exist in the first place? To take advantage of Latin-ignoramuses? We Latinists should endeavour to get rid of them once and for all.
  6. scrabulista Consul

    • Consul
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Re: Sticky: WARNING RE INTERNET TRANSLATORS

    I think they're made by software developers with a lot of hubris.
    henriquefb likes this.
  7. maximilianus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Re: Sticky: WARNING RE INTERNET TRANSLATORS

    This is why I, a soft developer, never developped a translator: My hubris is not good enough (lol) :nono: :hysteric:
  8. Anonymous Guest

    Re: Sticky: WARNING RE INTERNET TRANSLATORS

    I have to agree although I have no experience in reading or speaking Latin it is easy to see these things are useless
  9. zorander New Member

    Re: Sticky: WARNING RE INTERNET TRANSLATORS

    Translators aren't bad tools at all.

    If you post something in a language you don't understand to get it in one you do it will usually give you a pretty good sense about what the text is about at least. As for translating into foreing lanugages they are pretty useless granted, but can still be some use if you have a basic knowledge of the language you translate into all the time.

    I use them to get stuff from German to English all the time, works perfectly. Though I would never translate something into German and think it can actually be used in any offical capacity.
    As long as you are aware of there limitations they are great.

    Though latin isn't in any of the translators that are reasonably usable..
  10. Trethiwr Member

    Location:
    Dumnonia
    Re: Sticky: WARNING RE INTERNET TRANSLATORS

    Ignorami ??? :whistle:
  11. Quasus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Re: Sticky: WARNING RE INTERNET TRANSLATORS

    Let it better stay ignoramuses, because Latin ignoramus is a verb.
  12. Trethiwr Member

    Location:
    Dumnonia
    Re: Sticky: WARNING RE INTERNET TRANSLATORS

    Like any tool they should be used with care.
    Don't forget the classic sign in Wales that did not come from a translation engine but from a professional human translator.
    In English the sign said
    "Drivers must report to reception before proceeding."
    In Welsh it said
    "I am out of the office until Tuesday, sorry for any inconvenience."
  13. Trethiwr Member

    Location:
    Dumnonia
    Re: Sticky: WARNING RE INTERNET TRANSLATORS

    Ha ha, well from my introduction post nobody could think I was claiming any expertise in Latin.
    :lol:
    I'm one of them there ignoramuses of which you speak. :doh:
  14. Diaphanus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Re: Sticky: WARNING RE INTERNET TRANSLATORS

    But George Ruggle's play actually makes Ignoramus a proper name of the second declension, and it might as well be used metonymically like it is in English (cf. lolita from the novel Lolita).

    After I learned that, I stopped becoming bothered by using ignorami as a Neo-Latin noun.
  15. scrabulista Consul

    • Consul
    Location:
    Tennessee
  16. Chamaeleo New Member

    Location:
    Melbourne
    Machine translation

    I'm increasingly amazed by the trust people put in appallingly bad machine translation. I've just Googled for ‘Latin online translator’, and the first result was http://www.translation-guide.com/free_online_translators.php?from=English&to=Latin. When you enter a phrase, it takes you to a new page: http://www.tranexp.com:2000/

    Let's see how this ‘translator’ deals with incredibly simple phrases.

    First, the famous ‘Veni, vidi, vici.’

    It gives us ‘To come vidi , conquer.’ In other words, it has taken three identical forms (each meaning ‘I did [a certain action]’, and managed to translate them in three different incorrect ways. The first one has become an infinitive, the second has been left in Latin, and the third become the base form of the verb. The first comma has been swallowed up, and the second one has inexplicably gained a space before it. These are not typing errors: the text was generated by a computer. Needless to say, the correct translation is ‘I came, I saw, I conquered’.

    What happens if I enter the phrase all in capitals, Roman-style? ‘To come’ stays the same, ‘VIDI’ is now in all caps, but ‘conquer’ now gets an initial capital: ‘To come VIDI , Conquer.’. Bizarre.

    Now, I'm sure that my next text will totally confound it. In Latin, ‘v’ and ‘u’ are graphical variants of the same letter. Let's enter ‘ueni, uidi, uici.’ It spits out ‘ueni uidi uici.’ That's right: it has ‘translated’ this into English by... removing the commas.

    This next one is going to be a disaster; I can feel it. Let's enter the same phrase, but marking the long vowels with macrons: Vēni, vīdī, vīcī. When we are transferred to the next page, we see ‘VÄ“ni, vÄ«dÄ«, vÄ«cÄ«.’ in both the source and target box. Even the source text has not be correctly sent to the machine translator. OK, let's help it out and re-type it into the new window. The result? ‘Vni vd vc.’ That's English, apparently.

    OK, it looks like we'll have to enter things in a specific format only, and even then it will get it mostly wrong. Let's give it the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it's just shaky on the perfect tense, eh?

    Here's another sentence: ‘Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres’. This is another one from Cæsar, and it means ‘All Gaul is divided into three parts’. I literally laughed out loud when I read the output: ‘Hen is all to divide upon faction three’.

    Let's feed this back into the translator, and then again and again, like photocopying a photocopy. The meaning should drift slightly, but it should remain a correct, comprehensible sentence. (!)

    ‘Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres’‘Hen is all to divide upon faction three’ → ‘Gallina est totus divido super partes three’ → ‘Hen is whole to divide over, upon faction three’ → ‘Gallina est universus divido super , super partes three’ → ‘Hen is combined in one to divide over, upon , over, upon faction three’ → ‘Gallina est universus divido super , super , super , super partes three’ → ‘Hen is combined in one to divide over, upon , over, upon , over, upon , over, upon faction three’.

    Note that it has not even managed to translate the incredibly easy word ‘three’ (in Latin: ‘trēs’) into Latin.

    OK, maybe I'm being unfair again. That sentence is a bit long, and perhaps it's not good with proper nouns. Let's give it simple phrases from everyday speech.


    * These ones come up with a note saying ‘InterTran automatically switched the source and target languages because there was no translation for your original query.’
    Pacis puella likes this.
  17. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Saxonia
    Re: Machine translation

    so that's what you do in your free time :)
  18. Quasus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Re: Machine translation

    It's noteworthy that Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres tends to infinity as the number of iterations increases. :D
    Pacis puella likes this.
  19. Matthaeus Vemortuicida strenuus

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Ludoviciana
    Re: Machine translation

    It's the most ridiculous piece of online swill I have ever laid eyes upon. Chamæleo is a great satirist!
  20. Iohannes Aurum Technicus Auxiliarius

    • Technicus Auxiliarius
    Re: Machine translation

    InterTran is among the most popular free English-Latin and Latin-English machine translators, yet those without any knowledge on Latin and rely completely on an introductory Latin textbook and a dictionary can translate entire passages with much greater accuracy. Fortunately, Google Translate does not offer machine translation to and from Latin yet; if it did, then it would be better than InterTran's but much worse than the novice human translator.

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