The Case of the Sinister Buttocks

You have words - now what do you do with them?
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Slava
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The Case of the Sinister Buttocks

Postby Slava » Sat Sep 20, 2014 6:05 pm

This section is on words and what to do with them. This is a post on what not to do, and it's rather fun, IMHO:

http://chronicle.com/blogs/linguafranca ... -buttocks/
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.

DerekB
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Re: The Case of the Sinister Buttocks

Postby DerekB » Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:17 pm

The article, especially the second example, shows the familiar problem of automated translation attempts where word-by-word dictionary lookups are used. More modern translation tools try to work on phrase or word-group matching and are often more successful because of it.
I am reminded of the hilarity arising from a restaurant menu which had been "translated" from German to English, clearly using some sort of translation program (or "app" for anyone under 25). What had clearly happened was that the original text had been "translated" once and then the result, clearly not yet good enough, had been put through the same process a second time.
The giveaway to this diagnosis was the frequency of "anus" in the final "English" result, a word rarely found in real English menus. The first run had, acceptably, translated "nach" (here meaning "in the style of") to "after". The second run had found "after" and assumed "After" and therefore an anatomical German word meaning "anus".
I have a copy of the complete menu somewhere but it is not to hand at the moment.

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Slava
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Re: The Case of the Sinister Buttocks

Postby Slava » Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:22 pm

Probably apocryphal, but I've heard that once upon a time, an early attempt at computer translation turned "out of sight, out of mind" in to "Blind, Insane."
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.

Perry Lassiter
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Re: The Case of the Sinister Buttocks

Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:34 pm

The occurence of liturgy and service bounced my mind immediately to Romans 12:1. You will find two translations of the last two words, either reasonable service or logical worship. Quite a difference at first glance, but when you recognize that we refer to "worship services" sometimes a liturgies, you get a glimpse. The Greek translated either services or worship is the word from which we get our word liturgy. And the word translated either reasonable or spiritual is related to the famous logos, which is behind our word logical, but also in neoplatonic thought refers to a spirit. Thus, depending on your inclination...
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Philip Hudson
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Re: The Case of the Sinister Buttocks

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:15 am

I have experimented with common phrases translated from English to another language and then back to English by Google. The results are pretty good sometimes but sometimes they are totally off base.

This also holds true for manual translation. I once read an English translation of a Soviet persecution of a "cult" containing the name of Fifty Day Christians, Pentecostals, of course.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.


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