Saturday, May 28, 2016

More Errors in Translation

Let us continue lambasting Translator (see this post for our previous attempt). We are going to keep doing this till the camera translation for Japanese is released in the Win10 (mobile) app(s).

Bad Translator

Now where to begin! These sentences are not even in the same equivalence class… The Hindi sentence (literally) means “I am very grateful to you?”. Yes, you must have noticed something. The sentence doesn’t have an interrogative word so how the hell can it be a question! The English sentence should actually translate to something like: मुझे आपको कितना चुकाना है?

After this, my Superpartner suggested we try translating our own sentences in the Translator to see how well it does instead of getting fired up at the stock phrases on the app’s live tile. I asked her to shoot off 10 random sentences at me; I typed them up in Translator and Translator did its job. Here are the results of that experiment:

1. Let us have a Skype call. ⇒ हमें एक Skype कॉल है।

Crap! Not a good start. It should have been something like: चलो हम एक Skype कॉल करते हैं।

2. This is very expensive. ⇒ यह बहुत महंगा है।

On the mark!

3. Can I bargain on this? ⇒ मैं इस पर सौदेबाजी कर सकते हैं?

Aaah… almost right but the Pronoun-Verb matching is not the Translator’s strong point as we already know! So the last two words should read: सकता हूँ and probably it is also better to add क्या in the front to make it a proper question.

4. Today is very humid. ⇒ आज बहुत उमस है।


5. I am looking for some cheap souvenirs. ⇒ मैं कुछ सस्ते स्मृति चिन्ह के लिए देख रहा हूँ।

Almost perfect. Just omit के लिए. And instead of देख, use खोज to show ‘better’ grasp of Hindi than just literal translation.

6. Is there a flat for rent here? ⇒ वहाँ एक फ्लैट यहाँ किराए के लिए है?

Not a great translation on the face of it because it took ‘there’ literally. The translation can easily be salvaged by just changing the first word (for 'there') to क्या and it sounds perfect!

7. Where is my next assignment? ⇒ मेरी अगली काम कहाँ है?

Dammit, get the genders right! काम is masculine so use मेरा अगला instead of मेरी अगली!

8. What is cooking in your mind? ⇒ क्या आपके मन में पक रहा है?

All the right words but sounds weird! I don’t even know how to translate the Hindi phrase back to English. The right sounding sentence just needs the first word moved to the fourth place: आपके मन में क्या पक रहा है?

9. Shall we go to the park today? ⇒ हम पार्क करने के लिए आज चलें?

This is about parking a car or what? How can one park a car today? It should be deducible that ‘park’ has another meaning here. The translation should be simply: क्या हम आज उद्यान (पार्क) चलें?

10. I am taking my baby for a ride. ⇒ मैं मेरे बच्चे एक सवारी के लिए ले जा रहा हूँ।

Almost there… Just need to insert को after बच्चे. (We are too familiar with both Hindi & English to explain why that simple insertion is needed for the sentence to make sense but it is!) A slighlty better translation would be: मैं अपने बच्चे को (एक सवारी पर)/ घुमाने ले जा रहा हूँ।

So there you have it… Judge Translator on your own time. Smile

Hindi and/or Urdu

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