Google Translate Fail

  • Guycicle

    Posts: 228

    Mar 24, 2013 9:55 AM GMT
    Tonight I was commenting on a photo of a friend of mine from South Korea, and decided to comment in his native language (Korean), so I consulted Google Translate:

    601064_10152728204720647_824847436_n.jpg
    555094_10152728204580647_882884466_n.jpg

    I copied the Korean text and went back to Facebook to leave the comment on his photo. I was curious to see how the translation came out though, so I checked by inputting the translated text back into English and got a good laugh:

    480971_10152728204470647_2053493931_n.jp
    208877_10152728204285647_1733491206_n.jp

    Needless to say I had to leave a second comment explaining what had happened. icon_redface.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 24, 2013 12:28 PM GMT
    Don't worry, people from other countries struggle with English too:

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    Mar 24, 2013 1:03 PM GMT
    I've noticed that Google translate has an especially hard time deciphering Korean for some reason, even more so than it does for other Asian languages. Usually even though the translation may be wrong, you can still grasp what the original meaning probably was. But with Korean you often get completely incomprehensible nonsense. I'm not quite sure why this is the case, but I think it's pretty interesting nevertheless.
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    Mar 24, 2013 1:05 PM GMT
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    Mar 24, 2013 2:14 PM GMT
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    Mar 24, 2013 3:22 PM GMT
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  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    Mar 24, 2013 6:19 PM GMT
    Cardinal724 saidI've noticed that Google translate has an especially hard time deciphering Korean for some reason, even more so than it does for other Asian languages. Usually even though the translation may be wrong, you can still grasp what the original meaning probably was. But with Korean you often get completely incomprehensible nonsense. I'm not quite sure why this is the case, but I think it's pretty interesting nevertheless.


    Google Translate can be pretty accurate for a lot of languages, it depends on the amount of information stored in each language's machine translation memory. Since Google Translate relies on statistical analysis rather than rule-based translation, if a sentences has been correctly translated in the past, it will pull it up again when someone else searches for it (hence the "rating" feature in Google Translate and users' ability to correct translations in the target language if they also know it).

    However, if you want an accurate translation, better to hire a friendly neighborhood HUMAN translator (like me! icon_biggrin.gif).

    you-consciously-flush.jpg
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    Mar 24, 2013 6:25 PM GMT
    Anocxu said


    Thank you! I forgot about this video! I love this.
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    Mar 24, 2013 6:35 PM GMT
    Wait.. if you knew it wouldn't translate, why did you even bother? Also, there's no Korean equivalent to "fucking badass". icon_lol.gif

    Google Translate is getting better. But the challenge with Asian languages is that they are almost always contextual. So often times it will do literal translations, which will not make any sense in the target language.

    Next time, it might be better to just look up phrases language learning sites and copy/paste those instead.
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    Mar 24, 2013 6:40 PM GMT
    My long-term plan is to be a freelance translator so I hope Google Translate does not improve the the point I become useless by the time I am fluent in something icon_sad.gif
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    Mar 24, 2013 7:52 PM GMT
    Google translate is quite accurate when translating two languages that are grammatically close. For example, there are almost no mistakes in French-Italian or in Dutch-English, or in Japanese-Korean. But when it comes to grammatically different languages, like English-Korean it is quite useless.
  • Guycicle

    Posts: 228

    Mar 24, 2013 8:58 PM GMT
    bus9ja2d saidDon't worry, people from other countries struggle with English too:



    Her pronunciation was pretty motherfuckin' good @ 2:35. icon_razz.gif
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    Mar 24, 2013 9:08 PM GMT
    non-homo-milk-straight-tea.jpg

    As the original site says: "Anything in between, like binapple juice?"
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    Mar 24, 2013 9:52 PM GMT
    Isugemi saidGoogle translate is quite accurate when translating two languages that are grammatically close. For example, there are almost no mistakes in French-Italian or in Dutch-English, or in Japanese-Korean. But when it comes to grammatically different languages, like English-Korean it is quite useless.
    Well, it's more than grammar. Some languages are very contextual. That's why there are so many guys out there with Asian character tattoos that actually mean nothing. icon_lol.gif

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/02/fashion/sundaystyles/02tattoos.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
  • Guycicle

    Posts: 228

    Mar 24, 2013 9:58 PM GMT
    Anocxu said


    This is awesome. icon_razz.gif
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    Mar 24, 2013 10:01 PM GMT
    Yeah, googletranslate for korean is kinda awful. The entire way we talk is different than the americans who probably programmed most of it. Maybe google will have it figured out in a few more years, when we cease to have any language other than emoticons. icon_biggrin.gif
  • Guycicle

    Posts: 228

    Mar 24, 2013 10:09 PM GMT
    xrichx saidWait.. if you knew it wouldn't translate, why did you even bother? Also, there's no Korean equivalent to "fucking badass". icon_lol.gif

    Google Translate is getting better. But the challenge with Asian languages is that they are almost always contextual. So often times it will do literal translations, which will not make any sense in the target language.

    Next time, it might be better to just look up phrases language learning sites and copy/paste those instead.


    It was just for fun, and I'm glad I did because I have another fun story to tell.

    It's been a while though since I've made a serious attempt at learning Korean. I started to a few years ago because I was going to teach English for a while in Seoul, but that didn't end up working out.

    One thing though that made it seem easier to learn compared to other Asian languages is that their alphabet is phonetic rather than concept/symbol based.
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    Mar 24, 2013 10:20 PM GMT
    xrichx said
    Isugemi saidGoogle translate is quite accurate when translating two languages that are grammatically close. For example, there are almost no mistakes in French-Italian or in Dutch-English, or in Japanese-Korean. But when it comes to grammatically different languages, like English-Korean it is quite useless.
    Well, it's more than grammar. Some languages are very contextual. That's why there are so many guys out there with Asian character tattoos that actually mean nothing. icon_lol.gif

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/02/fashion/sundaystyles/02tattoos.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0


    Yep I remember a 牛 tatoo. It means "cow".
    You are right about the context. It's because languages don't emphasize and treat reality the same way by their structure. That's why I was talking about grammar.
    When I was living in Japan, I laughed so much seeing all those French writings meaning absolutely nothing. I saw a shop called "camelotte" (it means crap) or a sugar called "petit pet" (little fart) or a chocolate bar called "petit bit" (little cock).
  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    Mar 25, 2013 2:05 AM GMT
    I work at a translation company, and a desktop publisher was trying to see if two Chinese characters should go together, rather than be on separate lines. She put them into Google Translate:




    By themselves, the first character is one's genetic sex, the second means "outside." So she called me over and asked, "Does this really mean "Sex outside?!"
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    Mar 25, 2013 6:02 AM GMT
    Bunjamon saidI work at a translation company, and a desktop publisher was trying to see if two Chinese characters should go together, rather than be on separate lines. She put them into Google Translate:




    By themselves, the first character is one's genetic sex, the second means "outside." So she called me over and asked, "Does this really mean "Sex outside?!"


    That's almost as bad as people who think that 精子 means "Spirit Child" icon_lol.gif