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Jim Making Sense

Member since: Oct 2nd, 2009

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Google Translate now understands Latin (Download Squad)

Oct 13th 2010 8:19AM As you say, these "machine translations" can be useful for getting a gist of a text. But it would be dangerous to think they necessarily provide good (or even, understandable) translation. To be fair, Google admits as much.

I've had a look at some of the limitations of Google's Latin translator on my translation blog at http://www.worldaccent.com/blog and Google could be helpful for translating mottos and well known Latin phrases.

It may be free ... but one would still have to warn "caveat emptor"!

Google launches universal translation tool for web publishers (Download Squad)

Oct 2nd 2009 6:00AM This is an interesting new option, but your last paragraph makes a really important point.

It depends how crucial accuracy is to you. I recently blogged about this kind of machine translation at "Making Sense" (worldaccent.com/blog) and, more importantly, its dangers. It can be great for getting the gist of something, but is also often way off beam.

If a user runs your website through Google translate, they know it's at their own risk. If you have "provided" a translation, aren't you more responsible for what it says? As Bing Translator warns you every time you use it: "Automatic translation can help you understand the gist of the translated text but is no substitute for a professional human translator."

And, unless you speak the target language, how do you know if your website is being rendered in perfect prose or as unintelligible gibberish? If you care about what "you" are saying in translation, you're still best off sticking to a human translator.