Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 5th Feb 2018 23:04 UTC, submitted by Morgan
Google

Such a development would cause a soul-shattering upheaval in my mental life. Although I fully understand the fascination of trying to get machines to translate well, I am not in the least eager to see human translators replaced by inanimate machines. Indeed, the idea frightens and revolts me. To my mind, translation is an incredibly subtle art that draws constantly on one's many years of experience in life, and on one's creative imagination. If, some "fine" day, human translators were to become relics of the past, my respect for the human mind would be profoundly shaken, and the shock would leave me reeling with terrible confusion and immense, permanent sadness.

As a translator myself, I can indeed confirm Google Translate is complete and utter garbage, but the idea that I would "mourn" the end of translators seems outlandish to me. The unstoppable march of technology has eliminated countless jobs over the course of human existence, and if translators are next, I don't see any reason to mourn the end of my occupation. Of course, it'd suck for me personally, but that's about it.

That being said, I'm not afraid of running out of work any time soon. Google Translate's results are pretty terrible, and they only seem to be getting worse for me, instead of getting better. There's no doubt in my mind that machine translation will eventually get good enough, but I think it'll take at least another 20 years, if not more, to get there.

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Machines vs people
by oskeladden on Tue 6th Feb 2018 11:49 UTC
oskeladden
Member since:
2009-08-05

People can give machines a run for their money when it comes to unintentionally hilarious translations.

Long before there was such a thing as Google translate, human translators gave use the joys of "All your base are belong to us". And more recently, they've introduced us to the pleasures of delicacies like "Stir fried wikipedia" ( http://ourfounder.typepad.com/leblog/2007/10/jimmy-wales-gro.html ).

In a school in western Norway some years ago, a bunch of students began a letter-writing exercise in Spanish with a cheerful "Brezal!", after having looked up "hei" in a Norwegian-Spanish dictionary and selected the wrong Spanish word ("hei" in Norwegian means "hello", but can also mean "heath").

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