Thursday, September 04, 2014

We're not going anywhere

One of my regular readers sent me this email:

"Why human translators are still unlikely to be replaced anytime soon by computers," she says, providing the title of a book she's working on:
"Alice da Biblioteca das Maravilhas (Nota Bárbara de Onésimo Teotónio Almeida)":

GOOGLE: Library Alice in Wonderland (Note Onesimus Theotonius Barbara Almeida)

BING: Alice Wonderland library (Note Bárbara de Onésimo Teotónio Almeida)

MINE: Alice in Libraryland (A Barbarous Note by Onésimo Teotónio Almeida)
I particularly like the inability to deal with the adjective "barbara". And I'm not sure why Google decided to Latinify his name.

A more literal translation would be (I suppose) "in the library of wonders" or - clunkily - "wonderlibrary". Commenter's "Libraryland" works well since it plays off the original title.

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At 4:14 PM, September 04, 2014 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Thanks for the shout-out, Ridger! I forgot to mention in my email that the piece is a brief essay, not a book. BTW, the author replied in an email to me that he liked "Libraryland" as a translating solution, too (which pleased me greatly, because not all initial chances a translator takes work effectively). P.S. I'm changing "barbarous" to "barbaric," as it's wordplay on a Portuguese literary work that uses "barbaric" in the English version.

At 8:57 PM, September 04, 2014 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

P.S. To my dismay, I've discovered that Google lists more than 5,000 hits for "Alice in Libraryland." So while my invention of the phrase yesterday was independent, it's hardly unique. Le sigh...


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