Thursday, November 15, 2007

Testing Online Translators

MY MISSION — check out online translators to see what differences arise when I use more than one to translate a paragraph.

MY METHOD — use Babel Fish, Google translator and SDL translator to take the same paragraph and translate it first into German. Then using that German translation, translate it back into English.

MY PARAGRAPH:

Hi! My name is Terry Snyder. I am interested in family history and genealogy. My great-grandparents left Germany to come to the United States in 1906.

Babel Fish (http://babelfish.altavista.com/tr)

ENGLISH TO GERMAN: Hallo! Mein Name ist Terry Snyder. Ich bin an der Familiengeschichte und an der Genealogie interessiert. Meine großen Großeltern verließen Deutschland, um in die Vereinigten Staaten 1906 zu kommen.

GERMAN TO ENGLISH: Hello! My name is Terry Snyder. I am interested in family history and in the genealogy. My large grandparents left Germany, in order to come into the United States 1906

Google Translator (http://www.google.com/language_tools?hl=en)

ENGLISH TO GERMAN: Hallo! Mein Name ist Terry Snyder. Ich interessiere mich in der Familie Geschichte und Ahnenforschung. Meine Grosseltern Linke Deutschland zu kommen, in die Vereinigten Staaten 1906.

GERMAN TO ENGLISH: Hello! My name is Terry Snyder. I am interested in the family history and genealogy. My grandparents left Germany to come to the United States 1906.

As you can see from these three different translations, you can get an idea of what I am talking about, but it's not very clear — in fact as I pointed out with the Google translator I've lost one generation of grandparents.

The Web site, LOST IN TRANSLATION, takes things a step further. Using Babel Fish as the translator it translates my paragraph first into French, then back to English, then into German, then back into English. Next it takes that English translation and translates it into Italian, then again in English, then Portuguese, then English, then Spanish and finally one last time back into English.

All those translations result in the final English version as follows: Hello! My name is Terry Snyder. They are interested of the prehistory of the family and the genealogy. My great grandparents of Germany of the left, the end to enter corresponded with declare 1906.

Not exactly what I had intended to say.

If you'd like to play with this last little experiment on your own, you can find the LOST IN TRANSLATION Web site at http://tashian.com/multibabel/. If you add the Korean, Chinese and Japanese options, the result is even more garbled! Mission accomplished.

Until Next Time — Happy Ancestral Digging!

Note this post first published online, November 15, 2007, at Desktop Genealogist Blog at The News-Messenger Online http://www.thenews-messenger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=BLOGS02

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