Machine Translations strike again |

Machine Translations strike again

(Story originally posed by The Guardian – read here)

We all know it and, quite frankly, it makes us very happy – Due to a number of reasons, human translators are superior to machine translations. The human intelligence and awareness simply cannot be matched even by the newest and most sophisticated computer software. A human translator can understand a sentence, translate and localise it according to their reasons – something that machines aren’t yet able to do.

A great example of a machine translation fail and a caution for all business owners reaches us from a Galician town of As Pontes in the north-west Spain.

This small town wanted to celebrate in style. What was meant to be a culinary festival of ‘grelo’, a leafy green vegetable from the region, turned out to be a great marketing fiasco (or a success, as now the whole world knows about it!)

After using Google for translating their material from Galician to Spanish, for the past few months the city council was inviting people from other regions of Spain to celebrate… The ‘clitoris’ festival.

In fact, the translated announcement read in Spanish: “The clitoris is one of the typical products of Galician cuisine. Since 1981 … the festival has made the clitoris one of the star products of its local gastronomy.”

A spokesman for Google said something that’s pretty obvious to us, human translators – “Since the translations are generated by machines, not all translation will be perfect and sometimes there will be mistakes or mistranslations.”