Machine Translation has a way to go …..

I’ve recently been taking part in a project for an international translation company that are developing their own Machine Translation (MT) tool. Part of the job entailed post-editing segments translated by the machine. If you are a professional translator I wouldn’t break out into a sweat yet at the prospect of being unemployed any time soon.

Here are three of the most hilarious examples of machine translation that I had to deal with:

MT: …. derived from the famous nursery rhyme “Packing side-arms in the wood”.
Note: An imaginative translation by the robot for a simple “Taking a walk in the wood”. Have fun kids – but don’t use live ammo!

MT: I was a little septic tank to the idea of writing because i did not think that someone would solve my problem as quickly and efficiently.
Note: To be fair, the original French was misspelt - it should, of course, be ‘sceptical’.

MT: The employee of *****, contract killer Kostas has completely understood my problem
Note: It warms my cockles to know that a major I.T. company is employing ex-murderers to work on its help desk! The original French was simply ‘prénommé’, meaning that he ‘had the first name of’ …. how they managed to turn poor old Kosta into an employed assassin I can’t guess….

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