Jump to content
Dr-David-Banner

Google Translate

Recommended Posts

Dr-David-Banner

The other day I cheated and used Google Translate to quickly put an English quote into Russian. I told the forum members I'd used GT just for the quote to save time. It takes me a while to word my actual posts so just the once I opted for saved time.
I was very surprised. The translation on GT came out in clear Russian. The rules on that site are that Russian is the forum language so, please, no foreign quotes.
Here's the point though: Are translators facing extinction? I wonder how many companies just bypass translators and rattle stuff off on GT?
Yet another point: When I studied Russian we had no Windows. The department got e-mail around 1995 and amazingly satellite TV was considered "cutting edge technology". It was used with VCR. So, we students were given English to Russian classes and all we had was the library dictionaries. I recall using them - about 3 volumes.
What about students today? I wonder how many use GT? It would take 5 mins to do your homework! Let's face it the tutors would have no control, apart from class tests.
I admit I do use IT to polish my Russian. I can type sentences but then process for mistakes. I can reference grammar rules very fast. I am honest though. On the site is a teacher of Russian for foreigners and her son is on the spectrum. That makes me just another student - most will be either Chinese, Indian or from the Middle East or Korea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nesf

Even if you use Google Translate to translate texts, you will still need someone to proof read the text. Google Translate may be able to translate word for word, but it is still limited in the vocabulary, idioms and expressions, and quirks of grammar it knows and can translate... which means that you still need a native speaker with considerable knowledge to be able to translate those expressions. Google Translate is good and has got better in recent years, but it still can't replace a person.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HalfFull

I doubt Google Translate can ever be a total solution. Its open to all sorts of strange interpretations. I've tested it out in the past by finding something accurate in French, and trying to get that translated, and it can produce a weird translation. It may very well have improved since then but I think that rather than a person not fluent in the foreign language trusting it, a translator would still be used but the translator may themselves use Google Translate and then proofread the translation, thus they may be able to take on more work. That said, if I was paying someone to do a translation for me, I'm not sure how happy I'd be for them to use Google Translate. Then again, is it cheating or is it actually a good idea? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dr-David-Banner

Here from English to Russian on GT:
"Если мне удастся сдать экзамены, я поеду в Цюрихскую политехникуму. Я останусь там четыре года, чтобы изучать математику и физику."
I'm not a native speaker but this reads fine to me. Of course my own translation would have come out differently, less literal. Here the case endings are fine.
Back in 1989 all we had was dictionaries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dr-David-Banner

My Russian is far from perfect so I tend to check and process a lot. As an example I wasn't sure of GT's first constructed setence so I typed into Russia's Yandex and got:
"Now you'll be lucky if I can
convince the Council to spare your life.Теперь тебе повезёт, если мне удастся убедить Совет сохранить тебе жизнь
So GT comes out fine and the "if" future tense in Russian is OK. I ought to be surer on grammar but it's so easy to do checks online..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nesf
17 hours ago, HalfFull said:

That said, if I was paying someone to do a translation for me, I'm not sure how happy I'd be for them to use Google Translate. Then again, is it cheating or is it actually a good idea?

Yes - Google translate is fine for forums, websites, etc, but if you are an author and need to publish your work in another language, then you will likely want a good, professional job done on it and you would be ill advised to use Google Translate - it would sound stilted and unprofessional.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dr-David-Banner

But that leaves only a very specialist field of translation. So far as company messages or advertisements it seems GT must have put countless linguists out of work. The other question is to what degree students would be tempted to cheat. Let's face it, the student who wants to go out and party Friday night and can save hours of time doing translation homework on GT. I recall when I was a student, scores of us were in it for the easy ride of not working and many of us didn't attend all the classes. The ones I did recall were the English to Russian class where we'd get a big text and be asked, "How would you say such and such in Russian?". We only had your typical Oxford dictionary.
I also wonder if the Russian site members suspect I may be a secret "Google translate fraudster". It is true I do check my sentences a lot as I use my posts also as a sort of translation exercise. Still I do make my own structures first and then check online with search engines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nesf
45 minutes ago, Dr-David-Banner said:

I also wonder if the Russian site members suspect I may be a secret "Google translate fraudster".

You're only a fraudster if you are claiming something that isn't true - so if you have told them that you are writing them entirely on your own without any help, then yes, you are a fraudster. Otherwise, I think it's reasonable and perfectly legitimate to want to check your work for accuracy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Miss Chief

Google Translate doesn't do a good job on Welsh language... it tends to do a direct translation which is almost always wrong in Welsh, for example in English you would say where are you from but in Welsh you would say from where do you come GT tends to get this kind of thing wrong. I suspect it is in large part because GT relied on translators/bilinguals to get involved and check/correct that kind of thing and there aren't many Welsh people doing it but I would imagine there are loads of Russian speakers contributing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dr-David-Banner

This is correct. I found Latin has nothing like the research you get with Russian. Like Welsh it may have less technical research. Russia has a massive IT network (even RT) so the resources are huge for language. Not that Russian is going to "catch on". It's still a minority language and I see Spanish as more trendy. Probably GT would do poorly with Latin. In fact I was stunned how far behind Latin is. Hardly any examples of verb use - just a basic translation. Someone might make the point it pretty much died long ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.