Sunday, August 14, 2011

Gasp! What an idea!

Over at Language Log, Victor Mair analyzes another mistranslation on a Chinese sign, this one turning "one meter line" into (the homophonous in Modern Standard Mandarin) "rice-flour noodle" with amusing, or baffling, results.After discussing the machine translation (not Google this time, though they still produced "noodle"), but Babel Fish) that produced it, and why it happened, Prof. Mair muses on how to design the heuristics that do allow another program (Baidu Fanyi) to get this sample right, and suggests ways to enhance the lexical parameters of others to help with pragmatics...
Or, more radically, you could pay someone who knows both Chinese and English to translate your signage.

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At 2:43 PM, August 14, 2011 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Looks like the translating profession won't be rendered obsolete by computers for some time yet :-)

At 11:44 PM, August 20, 2011 Blogger Bill the Butcher had this to say...

You've seen those "F*ck to adjust the area" Chinglish signs, I presume?


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