More on machine translation

I suspect I’ll stop being amused by this soon, but I clicked on my translation widget to see how it would render my previous post in Italian. My sentence, “I agree with Miller and Baker…”, comes out: “Sono d’accordo con Mugnaio ed il panettiere“. You don’t need to know much Italian to see that it has changed Miller to il mugnaio and Baker to il panettiere. Curiously, in French (but not German, Spanish or Portuguese) their names remain in English. Clearly a better algorithm.

(The French translation also makes “newbies” Internautes novices, while all other languages just use “newbies”. In its origin, Davos Newbies wasn’t aimed at newbies in that French sense, but at people new to Davos. So the seemingly superior translation gets it wrong in this case.)

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