Biggest Google Translate Fail

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Andrikonic
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Biggest Google Translate Fail

Postby Andrikonic » Fri Oct 25, 2019 2:28 pm

Hi everyone,

Happy Friday! I wanted to hear about your experience with Google Translate and if you had noted down the biggest fails you encountered. I feel like the tool is getting better, however it still cannot be a very human translation if you use Google.

I was curious about this for quite some time - do you use it and how is it for you?

Thanks!
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Re: Biggest Google Translate Fail

Postby Decidida » Sat Oct 26, 2019 12:46 am

I like this thread. I just wish I could remember more of them. LOL. At least the horrendous fails let you know not to trust Google even when you think it is right.

Google is better for Spanish than Haitian Creole. Google cannot handle Creole contractions and the inventive and alternative spelling of its native speakers. I don't trust it even when the output makes sense. I wonder if the author of the text meant something else entirely or even the opposite.
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Postby Morgana » Sat Oct 26, 2019 5:04 am

Last edited by Morgana on Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Biggest Google Translate Fail

Postby mentecuerpo » Sat Oct 26, 2019 7:26 am

I love it and the technology is getting better and better, to the point that I don’t want it to improve further because then I will not have an excuse to spend so many hours learning languages. My wife will tell me: drive the kids to school, take the garbage out, go and pick up the dogs poop off the yard, no more languages, there is google translate!

I am at German beginner level, but I like audio books with text, well, I found out that I can paste the German text in Microsoft Word and get an instant accurate translation from German to English, using the translation tools in Microsoft word (it only works if you are connected to the internet). The translation is so perfect for artificial intelligence, that I wonder if the fact that English and German are Germanic languages explains why it can be converted from one language to another so easily and accurately.
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Re: Biggest Google Translate Fail

Postby Brun Ugle » Sat Oct 26, 2019 7:43 am

mentecuerpo wrote:I love it and the technology is getting better and better, to the point that I don’t want it to improve further because then I will not have an excuse to spend so many hours learning languages. My wife will tell me: drive the kids to school, take the garbage out, go and pick up the dogs poop off the yard, no more languages, there is google translate!

I am at German beginner level, but I like audio books with text, well, I found out that I can paste the German text in Microsoft Word and get an instant accurate translation from German to English, using the translation tools in Microsoft word (it only works if you are connected to the internet). The translation is so perfect for artificial intelligence, that I wonder if the fact that English and German are Germanic languages explains why it can be converted from one language to another so easily and accurately.

I don’t know, Ive found lots of strange translations even with German. I remember Zenmonkey sending me a list of unknown (to him) words that he’d taken from a TV show and asking me if I knew them. I did because they were all similar to Norwegian words. I wanted to send him the Norwegian translations to show him why it was easy for my even though I don’t know much German, but I didn’t feel like typing out the translations so I pasted the list into Google translate. It translated the German „Blinddarm“ to Norwegian «vedlegg» instead of the expected «blindtarm». Obviously, it had translated to English first and then to Norwegian, picking the wrong translation of the English “appendix”. But even when I translate to English, I find it makes some strange choices.
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Re: Biggest Google Translate Fail

Postby Brun Ugle » Sat Oct 26, 2019 8:01 am

I do volunteer work teaching Norwegian to asylum seekers and the other day we were working on an assignment where they had to pick one of three Norwegian sayings and write something about it. One man had tried to use Google translate to help him. He wrote a sentence in Arabic in Google translate and copied down the translation he got onto the paper. We then went around the table reading out our answers and discussing them. He read his and at first neither I nor the other teacher understood, partly because it didn’t make any sense and partly because his pronunciation wasn’t clear enough to understand the last word, which happened to be “vulva”. He read it again and the other teacher and I looked at each other like, “Did he say what I think he said?” I looked at his paper and indeed, he had written “vulva”. The other teacher and I could hardly stop laughing, but when we did, I had to explain to them what it meant. It turned out that whatever he had written in Arabic, since it is written without vowels, one word could be interpreted differently depending on what vowels you choose and Google naturally chose the wrong ones. I think the saying he was writing about was one about the sky being always blue behind the clouds, so whatever it was he was trying to say, Google had obviously made a huge mess of it. Fortunately, they are a good-humored and easy-going bunch and not easily upset by mistakes, no matter how embarrassing they might potentially be.
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Re: Biggest Google Translate Fail

Postby mentecuerpo » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:44 pm

1.
Ella tiró las llaves por la ventana:
Olvidé las llaves de la casa, María tiró las llaves por la ventana del segundo piso.

Google Translate:
She threw the keys out the window:
I forgot the keys to the house; Maria threw the keys through the window on the second floor.


2.
El tiró la casa por la ventana.
José celebró los quince años de su hija con una gran fiesta. Tiró la casa por la ventana.

Google Translate:
He threw the house out the window.
José celebrated his daughter's fifteen years with a big party. He threw the house out the window.

Sample 1, Google provided a meaningful translation.
Sample 2, Google failed to provide a meaningful translation.

It seems to me that the artificial intelligence on Google translates is simply translating Word for Word, which Works in most cases for European languages. But the minute you put a poetic language or an idiomatic expresión it fails.

"Tirar la casa por la ventana" es una expresión idiomática.
"To throw the house out of the window" is an idiomatic expression.

See bellow from the internet:
This is a fun one! “Tirar la casa por la ventana” literally means to throw the house out the window, which is quite clever when you consider the meaning. This expression means to spare no expenses or to pull out all the stops – more or less throwing the house out the figurative window! So if you ever feel like going all out for a party you’re planning, or a work project, all you have to say is “¿ Por qué no tirar la casa por la ventana?”
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Re: Biggest Google Translate Fail

Postby dicentra8 » Sat Oct 26, 2019 5:14 pm

The only one I was able to retrieve because I actually posted on tumblr (and someone else reblogged it - I ended up deleting my own account). It's also one of my top favourites so far that happened to me while using Google Translate.
Image

Other than that, yes I use it pretty much on a daily basis. Most times (for me) it's actually helpful and also fast to check certain things quickly. Then sometimes it really messes up and I think I just broke the machine / the machine gave up on me. Then there was one time I was convinced that it would fail because it was this medium size sentence with two clauses and there was no way that it could link the two clauses properly... and then it did! I almost spilled the tea over the laptop because I was so shocked. :lol:

Edit:
About the sentence itself, that was a long time ago but I think it's supposed to mean something along the lines of: since the person just got their first "real" job, they have no time to do anything else aka they spend every single day absorbed by their work.
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Re: Biggest Google Translate Fail

Postby mentecuerpo » Sat Oct 26, 2019 5:50 pm

I am at basic German level, I like to listen to audio content with text, I found this book for German language learner. This book is ideal to translate using Microsoft Word translate features. What makes this a good book for translation, it that the author wrote it for students of German at intermediate or lower level, so she is not using poetic language or idiomatic expressions, then the artificial intelligence language translation software can substitute word by word and it matches perfectly.

The problem I had with this specific book is that I could not find an English or Spanish translation in the market, so this solved the problem, now I can listen to my book, follow the German Text and get the meaning with Microsoft Word Translate feature. I bet google translate will do a good job too.

So here I put a sample text for you to see.

You can find this audiobook in Audible and the Ebook in Amzon Kindle store.


Title : Einfach Deutsch lesen: Der silberne Kugelschreiber - Kurzgeschichten - Niveau: leicht - With English vocabulary list (German Edition)
Author: Bohn, Angelika
ASIN : B01LWXHZ9O

1. Der Fremde in der S-Bahn
[The Stranger in the S-Bahn]

12. Juni
[June 12]

Liebes Tagebuch,
[Dear Diary,]

Jürgen ist ein Idiot! Er hat mit mir Schluss gemacht . Per WhatsApp! Genau an meinem 26. Geburtstag! Drei Jahre waren wir zusammen. Alles war okay, aber in den letzten Monaten haben wir oft gestritten . Und dann hat er in einer Bar eine neue Frau getroffen!! Sie heißt Adriana und ist genau mein Gegenteil: Sie hat lange, blonde Haare. Jeden Tag geht sie ins Fitnessstudio und trägt viel Make-up. Warum sind Männer nur so doof ??

[Jürgen is an idiot! He has put an end to me. Via WhatsApp! Exactly on my 26th birthday! We were together for three years. Everything was okay, but in the last few months we have often argued. And then he met a new woman in a bar!! Her name is Adriana and she is exactly my opposite: she has long, blond hair. Every day she goes to the gym and wears a lot of makeup. Why are men just so doof??]

Error:
Doof?? Stupid??

Petra schließt ihr Tagebuch und legt es auf den kleinen Schrank neben dem Bett. Vor drei Monaten hat sie diesen Text geschrieben. Sie bleibt noch einen Moment im Bett liegen und seufzt . Die letzten Wochen mit Jürgen haben keinen Spaß gemacht. Er ist immer später von der Arbeit nach Hause gekommen, und am Wochenende ist er allein mit seinen Freunden in eine Bar gegangen. Und jetzt ist Jürgen weg.

[Petra closes her diary and places it on the small cupboard next to the bed. She wrote this text three months ago. She stays in bed for a moment and sighs. The last few weeks with Jürgen have not been fun. He came home from work later and later, and at the weekend he went to a bar alone with his friends. And now Jürgen is gone.]
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Re: Biggest Google Translate Fail

Postby Cèid Donn » Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:02 am

WHY DO WE EVAPORATE? :lol:

Image

I stumbled across this this evening and thought of this thread. "

The sentence "Selain itu, kenapa ya kita menguap?" probably should be translated as "Besides this [reason], why do we yawn?" Both Microsoft and Google struggle with translating menguap, which in this context means to yawn, but can also mean in other contexts, to evaporate or, figuratively, to vanish/disappear, which all share the same root, but context is crucial here, like whether it's referring to a human action or something that happens to a liquid, or something that happens to a liquid, literally (evaporate), or to a solid, figuratively (vanish "into thin air" as we would say in English).
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