Machine Translation game – fun for translators and translation buyers
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I was contacted by a reader of my blog, who owns a translation agency here in Sweden. The agency has developed a game based on machine translation, just to show that machine translation does not produce very good translation results, and to have some fun. I tested the game, which is very quick and for everyone. I typed in “Tonight I need to go shopping for the crayfish party, a Swedish tradition in August”. You can see the result below. Scroll down to the back translation at the bottom to see the final result.

Translations

From English: Tonight I need to go shopping for the crayfish party, a Swedish tradition in August.


  • To Finnish: Tänä iltana minun mamilí ravut osapuolelle, Ruotsin perinne elokuussa.

    Back to English: This evening my crayfish party in the shop, the Swedish heritage in August.

  • To French: Ce soir mon écrevisse parti dans la boutique, et l’héritage suédois au mois d’août.

    Back to English: Tonight my crayfish party in the boutique, and Swedish heritage in August.

  • To German: Heute Abend meine Krebse Partei in die Boutique und das schwedische Erbe im August.

    Back to English: Tonight my crayfish party in the boutique and the Swedish heritage in August.

  • To Japanese: 今夜私ザリガニ ・ パーティー、ブティックと 8 月にスウェーデンの伝統。

    Back to English: Tonight my crayfish party, boutique, and August tradition of Sweden.

  • To Norwegian: I kveld min kreps partiet, boutique og August tradisjon for Sverige.

    Back to English: Tonight my crayfish party, boutique and August tradition of Sweden.

  • To Swedish: Kväll min Kräftskiva, boutique och augusti tradition i Sverige.

    Back to English: Tonight my crayfish party, boutique and August tradition in Sweden.

  • To Turkish: Bu gece benim kerevit parti, butik ve saygın geleneği İsveç.

    Back to English: This night my crayfish party, boutique and respected tradition in Sweden.

  • To Danish: Denne nat min Krebsehaler parti, boutique og respekteret tradition i Sverige.

    Back to English: This night my crayfish party, boutique and respected tradition in Sweden.

You can try the game yourselves by going to:  http://www.copypanthers.se/lost-in-oversattningsbyra. Change the language in the upper, right corner and follow the instructions. I would be interested in hearing what you think about the game.

The game clearly shows how twisted the translation can become when using a machine, especially when going through several translations. Granted, the results depend on the database and programming of the machine translation application, but if you need a professional translation, you should always use a professional translator.

Tess
Tess

Swedish Translation Services is a company owned by Tess Whitty, a freelance translator (English-Swedish), proofreader, editor, copy writer, localizer and entrepreneur.

3 Comments

  1. […] Be More Productive How the Internet has deeply changed the translation activity – Part 2 of 2 Machine Translation game – fun for translators and translation buyers Reasons why you should not hire a qualified professional interpreter 17 LSPs on the Inc. 5000 List […]

  2. Aleksandra says:

    Few years ago I discovered similar place on the internet. It was called “babellize-me” or something like that, but unfortunately, it doesn’t exist anymore. It was very handy and I regularly used it for my translation of cultural differences workshops, Every time participants had so much fun with it. I was sad when they shut it down and was looking for a similar thing. You can imagine how happy I was when I read your post. Thank you for sharing this, Tess. I would gladly use it with my IB language students in upcoming semester.

  3. Transliteria says:

    It is fun!

    In Polish: Dziś wieczorem muszę iść na zakupy na imprezę raki, szwedzka tradycja w sierpniu.
    (means total rubbish :-))