It was just recently I got to use Google’s Language Translator service.  Apparently someone who speaks Spanish googled up Satoshi Tsumabuki’s name and used Google’s free translation service to read my post on him.  And this is what it looked like:

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En Mi Paleta: My blog in Spanish

Increíble, ¿no? Google’s Translator can supposedly translate many languages (Albanian, German, Vietnamese, Filipino, etc.) to your own native tongue and vice versa.  But I wonder how accurate the translation was.  I’m sure there’s no way this could be 100% accurate, considering the differences in syntax and sentence structure in every language.

So I did a little investigating…to see if this really works.

1) Spanish webpage from NotiCine:

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English translation by Google:

The Berlin Film Festival announced on Friday its first ten titles in its Official Selection, in its 59 edition, which will take place from 5 to February 15 next year. Among them, apart from the Mexican film starring Gael Garcia Bernal “Mammoth,” Lukas Moodysson’s Swedish is a skillful combination of top-level filmmakers (Theo Angelopoulos, Sally Potter, Chen Kaige… Stephen Daldry) with international stars.

Including the breakdown of the top ten bands are selected to Judi Dench, Jude Law, Dianne Wiest….

Verdict: Although there are still kinks in the grammar, I think the English translation from Spanish is highly passable and can be well understood. (And oh, by the way, mi actor favorito, Gael Garcia Bernal‘s new movie, Mammoth, had scenes that were shot in the Philippines! See trailer here)

2) Japanese webpage from Inoue Mao’s official homepage:

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English translation by Google:

2009 March 28. Mao-chan, graduated from college in one piece… Four years we both had a lot of work has to be hard. Or going to class and have the spare time taking pictures, going to school or just in day out all night. It was doing homework and reports at the scene, and now good memories. Who had supported Mao in her school, the friendly fivesome (KYANDIZU). Happy Graduation! By the way, is shooting the film today. Report of the scene, later to.

Verdict: Hmm. Puede na. I think I can get the gist of most of what it was about. But this was easy to translate though. Almost all the other entries on this webpage was just too hard to understand (“Mao-chan on the cover of this magazine is made of steel only for the day” Huh?).

3) French webpage from doctissimo:

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Filipino translation by Google:

Ang pag-inom ng kape ay mapanganib sa iyong kalusugan? Siyentipiko ay isasaalang-alang pa rin ang mga bagay na ito. Habang ang mga certainties mukhang lumitaw, ang science ay pa rin sa maitim.

Kape at Parkinson’s Sakit: Isang Pangkontra Epekto? Ang kape ay nagsasama ng isang pangharang epekto sa mga sakay sa sintomas ng Parkinson’s disease…

Verdict: Passable.  And a bit impressive–even the English translation on this was fairly accurate.  Nevertheless, some phrases may be deemed laughable (like “science ay pa rin sa maitim“) and it would take one’s stock knowledge to infer what these actually mean (“science is still in the dark?”).

Over-all, I think this is really a useful tool for us especially for those who are into research and sharing of knowledge.  But I guess from now on, we should also be wary of what we write. Some of us use our native tongue when we do not want others to read what we wrote (especially when we are talking about them).  Who knows where this new tech may lead–An end to the confusion of tongues? Or maybe even more divisiveness?

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