free translations are good for..? an example of a text , a good translation and the free one.

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votes

El orgullo en ti y tu desear, te
roban tu energía en el camino.

Si puedes matar a esos ladrones y te
transformas en un servidor de todos,
encontrarás al Señor en la meditación
y verás lo que solías proteger como un
montón de cenizas.- Lalla
Místico del Norte de India del Siglo XIV

Commentario:
El orgullo es una quimera creada por el
vacío que la mente siente y que busca llenar
minimizando a los demás. Por otra parte, la
persona de discernimiento opta servir a los
demás y con ello purifica su interior. Sabe que
en ese ambiente es posible la meditación, no
como práctica o ejercicio, sino como la condición
contemplativa que le permite morar en su
inherente Divinidad.- Jorge Luis

Now the good translation:

Your pride in yourself and your wanting,
these steal your energy along the road.

If you can kill these robbers
and become the servant of everyone,
you'll meet the Lord in meditation
and see what you used to protect
as just a pile of ashes.- Lalla
14th Century North Indian mystic

Commentary:
Pride is a pipe dream created by the emptiness
The mind feels and seeks to fill by minimizing
Others. On the other hand, a discerning person
Chooses to serve is fellow beings, purifying his
Inner environment. He/she knows that in such an
environment meditation is possible, not just as an
exercise or practice, but rather as the contemplative
quality that allows him/her to abide in his/her
inherent Divinity.-Jorge Luis

Now the Yahoo free translation:

The pride in you and your to desire, they steal you your energy on the road. If you can kill those thieves and transform you into a servant of all, will find the Mister in the meditation and will see what were used to protecting as a pile of ashes.- Lalla Mystical north of India of the Century XIV

Commentary
The pride is a chimera created by the empty one that the mind feels and that seeks to fill minimizing to the others. On the other hand, the person of discernment opts to serve to the others and with it he purifies his interior. He knows that in that ambience is possible the meditation, not as practice or exercise, but like the contemplative condition that permits him to dwell in its inherent Divinity. - Jorge Luis

The Yahoo translation is a helpful start that needs refinement or it is misleading and no help at all...this one was helpful. What has been your experience with these translations? How do you use them if at all? -David D

2779 views
updated AGO 12, 2008
posted by dave-delany

8 Answers

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votes

It's like asking your toaster to handle MS Word.

Jajaja.

I don't even have a toaster, and I use Open Office whenever I can smile But your point is well made. For single words or simple sentences I usually rely on my own knowledge or look things up in a dictionary. I'm still behind the learning curve, but I can usually recognize when a more sophisticated phrase is translated poorly. My wife often prepares lectures in English, then we run the lectures through the machine translator. From there we go to human work. I get things cleaned up pretty well, then we hand the lecture over to a native Spanish speaker to add the nuances and cultural innuendos. (Hope I spelled that last word correctly--English spelling is a lot more difficult than spelling in Spanish)

updated AGO 12, 2008
posted by CalvoViejo
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votes

Nuances? Translators can't even handle sentences that many 3 y.o. natives would use with ease.

Let's use the term "machine translators." As a translator myself, I hope I can handle the language of at least four-year-olds. wink

updated AGO 12, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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votes

James said:

Nuances? Translators can't even handle sentences that many 3 y.o. natives would use with ease.

Take two simple sentence any child could say:

Me apetece comerme algo calentito.
Babel Fish: It desires to me to eat something to me calentito.
SpanishDict: I like to eat something warm. (quite good!)

¡Que te calles te he dicho!
Babel Fish: That you streets I have said to you!
SpanishDict: Que te te streets I said!

They can't even differenciate a verb (callar) from a noun (calle).

updated AGO 12, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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votes

CalvoViejo said:

I often use the translation services on this web site. They give me several different translations to work from. Of course, I always review and edit the result.

I'm not talking about single words or simple word phrases (although even those can be badly mistranslated by a computer), but text such as that given by Dave here. There is no way a machine can handle subtle nuance when it doesn't even understand what it is translating. It's like asking your toaster to handle MS Word.

updated AGO 12, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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I often use the translation services on this web site. They give me several different translations to work from. Of course, I always review and edit the result.

updated AGO 12, 2008
posted by CalvoViejo
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votes

Which Kurusawa movie is the still from'

Yojimbo

updated AGO 12, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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James-
Yes, I agree. One must keep ones expectations in check. Thanks!
-DD
PS- Which Kurusawa movie is the still from'

updated AGO 12, 2008
posted by dave-delany
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votes

Siglo IVX

I think you meant siglo XIV. wink

As for MT, it always amazes me that people expect computers to be able to translate, even though those same people wouldn't expect to be able to carry on a meaningful conversation with a computer. Until that day of conversation arrives, and it won't be any time soon, it is silly to rely on machines for language conversion in anything but the simplest contexts.

updated AGO 12, 2008
posted by 00bacfba