Translation matters

Ever had that moment of despair when you could not explain to someone in a foreigh country what you needed? With the supposed new features in Google translate (which we use very often), can translate offline. Great stuff, no fretting over wifi nor data charges when you are in desperate need to gesture your message across to someone who cannot understand you.

Ok, ok it still needs some work.

The updated app is just the smartphone version of the same Google translate site.

At least for the English-Chinese translation there is some way to go. I had typed in the word “train”, referring to the locomotive. What came out in the translation was to 培养, which means to nurture (ie train) someone. I had to type in “train journey” to get close to the Chinese equivalent of the word train (火车旅行). Surprisingly if I had done the reverse of just typing in 火车 it worked fine!

 Convert English to: Output in Chinese
 Train  培养 (to nurture)*
 Train Journey  火车旅行 (last two characters actually means travel)
Convert Chinese to:  Output in English
 火车  Train
 火车旅程 (last two characters mean journey in Chinese) Train Journey
 培养*  To cultivate (if I put this into the translator), I came up with 培育

Just the other day, a colleague of ours gave us this : try translating “Turnip” from English into Malay. Take the result Malay word(s) and translate back into English to know what it meant. Try it on your mobile phone…and not the desktop.

Apparently it works better for some language pairs than others…semantics is still not within the grasp of smart translators. We’ll keep testing this.

Author: Mel & Suan

Mel works his day job for a living, but lives for antiquities, history and geography at all other times. He enjoys writing and thought sharing and obviously traveling. Suan is a homey person, who like girlie stuff such as cross stitching etc. Enjoys shopping & modeling for Mel. What a match!

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