Off topic: Translation

From: Marshall Burns (
Date: Thu Jun 25 1998 - 19:35:34 EEST

Franck Lacan wrote:


    This is absolutely incredible!!! I typed in the URL of our Web site welcome page
and only a few seconds later had a translated version in each of five languages!

    I wonder if any of our colleagues on this list would be willing to tell us how
well the service works. Listed below are URLs for each of the five translations. It
would be very interesting if native speakers of the respective languages would look at
these and comment (to me privately or to the whole list, as you wish) on the quality
of the translation.

    As my own test, I took the French version and had Alta Vista translate it back
into English. The result was definitely not very good, but it did at least
communicated the basics.

    One thing that was interesting was how the translator treated the word
"fabricator." In the five languages, it came out as:

        French: constructeur
        German: Hersteller
        Italian: fabricator
        Portuguese: construtor
        Spanish: fabricante

In the reverse process from French to English, the translator rendered "constructeur"
as "manufacturer."

Marshall Burns

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