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Google Translate from Korean... not so much. - Elf M. Sternberg
Google Translate from Korean... not so much.
Man, if you want to write an SF novel, you could do worse than uriminzokkiri, a Japanese site that makes North Korea's internals news outlets available to Zainichi. Check out some of these quotes:
To admire the world that one dare not face reality, impregnable fortress of Venus Why be a suitable heotnabaleul blew the red swing that is dying gasoropgi manhood.

Wiryeokhan minded than nuclear weapons only as a result of imperialism unbeaten Salute sanctions and blockade of the forearm moves creates the bubbles tteolchyeoon national dignity and courage to our people today that stronger mentality and terrifying times 1100 Detonate socialist powerful nation in the ryeongma Lou The storm has hit the climb.

The so-called "international reserve currency," said the dollar by the trivial guys, think about the quality of this humiliation and disgrace

Indeed, the Demon Squid embarrassment for the United States the pain does not go off maybe 12.

People are the scum of the sloppy escapades earned my deal and sent to the party to ridicule and criticism that this reason is there for me watching.
And that's just from one article!

Current Mood: giggly giggly

8 comments or Leave a comment
shunra From: shunra Date: June 24th, 2010 06:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've spent a good part of my professional life explaining to people that computers won't replace human translators until quite a bit after they replace human editors.

When these interlocutors remind me about spell checkers, I remind them about "lettuce proceed" and other exciting things I've found in court documents.

We really need humans to translate. Googly stand-ins will make people THINK they can communicate in foreign languages, but when the inevitable misunderstandings occur, humans will be needed to sort things out.

2010 is an excellent time to be a translator. (And a young woman I know who is spending half a year in Korea to start learning the language is probably paving her path in gold right about now. She's 14, already speaks fluent Chinese and wants to be an interpreter. She'll be in huge demand before she gets to college.)
kengr From: kengr Date: June 24th, 2010 07:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
And even human translators need familiarity with the subject being covered.

I recall an engineer telling me about the head scratching when they got some docs translated from German (we were an American division of a German company).

We made silicon wafers. And the documents had references to "licking" the wafers and using "licking" machines.

Finally it dawned on someone that the words should be "lapping" and "lapping machine". (lapping being a sort of machining process using abrasive and somewhere between "sanding" and "polishing").

You want real fun? See what one of the online translators does to porn. Especially "niche" stuff. :-)
shunra From: shunra Date: June 24th, 2010 07:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh yes, absolutely. Because each group of people working together has their own dialect.

I've seen medical translations which refer to a malady unique to women known as "neck cancer" (no!) and an incredible dot-matrix printer being referred to as a "pin printer", due to the language interference. Can you imagine the fun, when that sort of thing hits court cases or medical settings?
areitu From: areitu Date: June 25th, 2010 01:36 am (UTC) (Link)
There's all sorts of neat niches for interpreters to fill, from translating consumer media to technical documents. I read an article in LA Times about translators a few months back, where they interviewed a few interpretors and translators.

There were a few interesting tidbits...ranging from what a UN interpreter does when they hear a joke that doesn't translate across cultures, to in-demand niche services, like translating old soviet nuclear technical documents into Iranian.
shunra From: shunra Date: June 25th, 2010 01:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Absolutely! And yet for the 21 years that I've made my living in the profession I have been repeatedly warned that I will soon be replaced by a computer.

By the way, the difference between interpreting & translating is i/o modes: translation is "in the eyes, out the hands", interpreting is "in the ears, out the mouth". While both require linguistic proficiency and wide-ranging subject knowledge, they draw very different kinds of people. (I do both. I *hate* one and love the other.)

Oh, and the main language spoken in Iran is called Farsi, not Iranian :-)
areitu From: areitu Date: June 25th, 2010 02:10 am (UTC) (Link)
ack--should know better than that! Used to work for a guy who knew Urdu, Farsi and Arabic. Never could tell which one he was using, though.

If you don't mind my asking, what do you typically interpret/translate?

Also, do you find that sometimes it's more difficult to interpret from language B to A, as opposed to A to B?
shunra From: shunra Date: June 25th, 2010 03:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I interpret & translate Hebrew and English, in both directions.

Difficulty of interpreting seems to have more to do with the speakers & conditions than with the language.

In terms of translation, though, my native language bias shows: into English is much easier. That said, writing is quite a bit easier in Hebrew, despite having published mostly in English.

Gratuitous factoid: when I'm interpreting, I get partial amnesia - I can remember the general domain of the material, but not details. This freaks me out quite significantly and since it appears to be quite common among interpreters, would make an excellent plot point for a mystery.
areitu From: areitu Date: June 25th, 2010 01:27 am (UTC) (Link)
"Blew the red swing that is dying gasoropgi manhood" could pass for title of an adult anime.
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