Friday, May 08, 2015

Nice job, Bing. I'd give you a B+

Oh, Bing. Sooooo close.
ПП: Сьогодні український народ та Збройні сили єдині як ніколи.
Ми переможемо, бо добро завжди перемагає зло!

PM: today the Ukrainian people and the armed forces are United as never before.
We'll win, because good always overcomes evil!

PP: Today Ukrainian people and the armed forces are united as never before.
We will win, because good always triumphs over evil
Google is almost completely correct. I'm not at all sure why Bing translated Poroshenko's initials as PM; surely it wasn't recognizing that it was the Prime Minister? I mean, if it's that smart, why did it capitalize United? Also, in a solemn speech such as this, I don't like "We'll win".

But Bing gets something right that Google missed: it's not "Ukrainian people", it's (as Google has it) "the Ukrainian people". Народ (narod) isn't the plural of person, it's the collective, political-or-ethnic group. The people, the nation.

But otherwise, nice job, Bing.

ps: Note Poroshenko's profile picture: a stylized black-and-red poppy, used in Ukraine for VE Day for the first time, since the old George Ribbon is irredeemably tainted by its association with Russian aggression and separatism.

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At 11:26 PM, May 11, 2015 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

If programs are inconsistent in their ability to produce accurate translations, they're not worth much (and that's being charitable).

At 10:23 PM, May 29, 2015 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

Oh, they have their uses. The best one is for triage: they can give you an idea of the subject matter so you know if it needs to be translated or not.

They are also useful for in-class exercises - the students get to work on a bad translation without picking on one of them.

And they're sometimes quite funny.


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