Saturday, April 11, 2015

Bing for comparison

Petro Poroshenko posted today on the anniversary of Lech Kaczyński's death. He generally has an official English version with his posts, but that doesn't stop Bing from (ever hopeful!) offering to translate for you.
ПП: П'ять років з дня страшної авіакатастрофи під Смоленськом, внаслідок якої загинув великий друг України Лех Качинський з дружиною та інші сини і доньки польського народу.
Неможливо забути цю страшну трагедію та змиритися з нею.
Завжди пам'ятатиму дружбу та допомогу, яку демонстрував Лех Качинський нашій країні. Він був щирою людиною та відповідальним політиком.
Світла пам'ять.
It is five years today since a dreadful catastrophe near Smolensk took lives of Ukraine's great friend, Lech Kaczyński, his wife and several other Polish dignitaries.
This tragedy will never be forgotten.
I remember Lech Kaczyński as a person who always demonstrated great sympathy and support for Ukraine. He was an honest man and a responsible politician.
Rest in peace.
PM: today marks five years since the terrible plane crash in Smolensk, which was a great friend of Ukraine Lech Kaczyński with his wife and other sons of Polish people.
It is impossible to forget this terrible tragedy and put up with it.
Always will remember the friendship and assistance, which demonstrated the Lech Kaczynski our country. He was a sincere person and a responsible politician.
Light memory. - Translated by Bing
You may note some oddities in Bing that don't seem reflected in the English of the official post. Poroshenko's translator knows about register. We don't generally say things like "others of Poland's sons and daughters" (yes, Bing - and daughters!), and "rest in peace" is the standard phrase, not "bright memory". But please notice Bing's standard horrible grasp of inverted word order: which demonstrated Lech Kaczyński vs. which Lech Kaczyński demonstrated. Also note that Bing just blithely ignores the verb загинув (perished) and translates змиритися (to become reconciled to) as "put up with" - sometimes that works, but not here. Also, the dative case means a preposition in English: TO our country (or "for"), not "demonstrated our country" - with a different verb you could get away without one ("showed our country", but verbs aren't plug-and-play; even with the same meaning they often have different grammatical requirements).

(Here's my much more literal translation for you: 
It is five years since the day of the terrible plane crash near Smolensk, as a result of which perished Ukraine's great friend Lech Kaczyński with his wife and other sons and daughter of the Polish nation.
It is impossible to forget this terrible tragedy, or to become reconciled to it.
I will always remember the friendship and assistance which Lech Kaczyński showed to our country. He was an honest man and a responsible politician.
May his memory be bright.)

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2 Comments:

At 1:36 PM, April 11, 2015 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

On the bright (ha!) side, it looks like there'll be less Russian (especially idioms and slang) for Bing to have to translate now.

"Russia just made a ton of Internet memes illegal":
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2015/04/10/russia-just-made-a-ton-of-internet-memes-illegal

 
At 1:47 PM, April 11, 2015 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

They just have to host them outside Russia.

 

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