HomeQ&ASystran vs real life translations

Systran vs real life translations

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I asked Systran to translate this for me:

It has been a dream of mine since I was about 11 years old to be able to speak, read and write a foreign language. My native language is English. I was introduced to the fact that there are foreign languages to learn to use when my grandmother cleaned out her attic and gave us some old books she found there.

I think it gave me a rather clumsy translation:

Ha sido un sueño desde que era cerca de 11 años viejo para poder hablar, leer y escribir un extranjero lengua. Mi lengua materna es inglés. Era introducido al hecho de que hay idiomas extranjeros a aprende utilizar cuando mi abuela limpió hacia fuera tu ático y nos dio algunos viejos libros que ella encontró allí.

Should I correct my English or correct the Spanish'

2656 views
updated JUL 23, 2008
posted by Lyndelle

15 Answers

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That looks like a very fine translation, except that inglés shouldn't be capitalized.

updated JUL 23, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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My best (and free) transation:
Desde que tenía unos 11 años ha sido mi ilusión el poder hablar, leer y escribir en algún idioma extranjero. Mi idioma materno es el Inglés. Fui consciente de la existencia de idiomas diferentes cuando mi abuela nos regalaba libros viejos mientras ordenaba su ático.

updated JUL 23, 2008
posted by Guaito
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Lazarus and James are geeks in the best possible way.

Rockstars!

updated JUL 23, 2008
posted by cindigo-dot-com
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Good points, all.

...homophones and such, like a recent confusion with tear (lágrima) and tear (rasgón).

Actually, tear and tear are not homophones (homo = same, phone = sound), but homographs. That is, they are written the same, but have different pronunciations and meanings.

updated JUL 17, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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You forgot to mention another one: if people mispell words or don't know how or when to write accents, machines won't guess what they really mean, so they will accurately translate "tengo dos anos" as "I have two anusses" (ano = anus, año = year) and "Que quieres'" as "That you want'", and will give even crappier translations if they are fed with rubbish (i.e. bad grammar and spelling). I won't even go into homophones and such, like a recent confusion with tear (lágrima) and tear (rasgón).

updated JUL 17, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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jejeje, this is very funny, NAt, I didn't understand....very funny indeed.

updated JUL 16, 2008
posted by 00494d19
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My speech teacher in college was a very nice man who didn't want to call us stupid. He said "KISS" stood for Keep It SHORT and Simple.

Anway, I agree with James. The English is fine.

updated JUL 16, 2008
posted by Natasha
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I'll go with the kiss part.....jeje

updated JUL 16, 2008
posted by 00494d19
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Thanks, James. I'll quit banging my head against the wall now. I won't give up!

updated JUL 16, 2008
posted by Lyndelle
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*It has been a dream of mine since I was about 11 years old to be able to speak, read and write a foreign language.

Would this be difficult for a native Spanish speaker to understand'*

It's perfect English, so why should you care? I mean, there is nothing unusual or slangy about it, and it's correct, so it's up to the Spanish speaker to understand it.

Desde 11 años de edad

It sounds much better to say "Desde los 11 años de edad."

updated JUL 16, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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It has been a dream of mine since I was about 11 years old to be able to speak, read and write a foreign language.

Would this be difficult for a native Spanish speaker to understand? If it is, then the answer would be to correct my English. It doesn't make much sense to translate bad English, no? And bad English is hard for native Spanish speakers to understand.

Since I was about 11 years old, I've dreamed of being able to speak, read and write in a foreign language.

Desde 11 años de edad he deseado hablar, leer y escribir en un idioma extranjero.

The answer to my question might be "keep it simple, stupid" or KISS

updated JUL 16, 2008
posted by Lyndelle
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Oops, I missed una cosita.

idiomas extranjeros que se pueden aprender

or

idiomas extranjeros que uno puede aprender

updated JUL 16, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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OK, I'll comment on your translation, Natasha. wink

Desde los 11 años de edad, tengo he tenido un el sueño de poder hablar, leer, y escribir una lengua estranjera. Mi lengua madterna es el inglés. Mi introducción a la existencia de idiomas extranjeros que se puede aprender era cuando mi abuela aseaba su entretecho, y nos dio algunos libros viejos que encontró allí.

Pretty good! I tried to leave it intact as much as possible.

Now we can wait for the comments on my comments! wink

updated JUL 16, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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Hmm. Systran does better than some of the others! I'll try . . .

Desde 11 años de edad, tengo un sueño de poder hablar, leer, y escribir una lengua estranjera. Mi lengua maderna es inglés. Mi introducción a la existencia de idiomas extranjeros que se puede aprender era cuando mi abuela aseaba su entretecho, y nos dio algunos libros viejos que encontró allí.

updated JUL 16, 2008
posted by Natasha
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Lyndelle, please forget about using computers to translate sentences. They just can't do it. They are OK for single words or simple phrases, but even then they often provide the wrong meaning. (For example, the word run can have dozens of different meanings, all of which are obvious to a human native speaker, but a computer has no idea which should be used.)

Try translating the English yourself, and we will then make suggestions.

updated JUL 16, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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