Google Translate

This is not the first time I have discussed the weaknesses and difficulties involved with automatic translators like Google Translate. They can be useful, of course. For example, when I put the Irish version of the first sentence above into Google Translate, I got the following.

This is not the first time I talk about the weaknesses and difficulties of automatic translators such as Google Translate.

This is not 100% correct, but it’s close enough to understand the meaning. The main problems with Google Translate come from using it to translate English into Irish.

I saw an example of the dangers of English-Irish automatic translation recently. There was a picture on Twitter of one of Cassidy’s hangers-on in California. She was standing in the airport, supporting people who were flying home to vote for changing the constitution to allow abortion in Ireland. (I share this person’s view regarding the referendum, by the way, although I don’t like her because of her attempts to whitewash Cassidy’s reputation.) She had a notice in her hand with the words Trust Women on it, and the same thing in Google ‘Irish’ – Muinín Mna! Of course, this is nonsense. It means something like ‘Confidence of a woman’! (The correct version would be Cuir muinín sna mná or Bíodh muinín againn as na mná.)

One of the worst examples I have ever seen of this bad translation is the translation that Google Translate provides for ‘Rest In Peace’, which is translated as ‘An Chuid Eile i Síocháin’. That is completely wrong. It means the rest as in the remainder, not rest as in relax. It’s almost an insult to the dead person and their family, it seems to me. You would think Google Translate would be able to override whatever algorithm is used to create the translation. I have complained and asked them to put a proper version in, but it was a waste of time. Here is how to say Rest In Peace in Irish, by the way: Suaimhneas síoraí dá anam (for a man); Suaimhneas síoraí dá hanam (for a woman); suaimhneas síoraí dá n-anam (more than one person). You can put ‘uasal’ or ‘dílis’ after the ‘anam’ if you want. There are other ways (such as Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal, m.sh.) but the version given above is perfectly adequate.

If you have a Kindle, you may have noticed that there are a lot of books out there which claim to be (Irish Edition). If you look at them, it becomes clear that they are simply nonsense which has been badly translated by an automatic translator. The thing is, these books are a kind of scam which use the pot of royalties for authors on Kindle Unlimited. If you follow this link, you will find a very interesting article by David Gaughran about it: http://davidgaughran.com/2017/06/03/amazon-has-a-fake-book-problem/

 

 

Ní hé seo an chéad uair dom labhairt ar na laigí agus na deacrachtaí a bhaineann le haistritheoirí uathoibríocha ar nós Google Translate. Thig leo bheith úsáideach, ar ndóigh. Abair go bhfuil duine éigin ag iarraidh an chéad abairt thuas a thuiscint. Má chuireann siad isteach in Google Translate é, gheobhaidh siad an leagan seo:

This is not the first time I talk about the weaknesses and difficulties of automatic translators such as Google Translate.

Níl seo go díreach ceart ach is leor é leis an chiall a thuiscint, gan amhras. Na fadhbanna is mó le Google Translate agus a leithéidí, tarlaíonn siad nuair a bhaintear úsáid as aistritheoir uathoibríoch le Gaeilge a chur ar abairt ón Bhéarla.

Chonaic mé sampla de na contúirtí a bhaineann le haistriúchán uathoibríoch Béarla-Gaeilge ar na mallaibh. Bhí pictiúr ar Twitter de angarúinneach de chuid Cassidy in California. Bhí sí ina seasamh san aerfort, ag tabhairt tacaíochta do dhaoine a bhí ag eitilt n-abhaile le vótáil ar son an bunreacht a athrú le ginchealú a cheadú in Éirinn. (Aontaím le dearcadh an duine seo maidir leis an reifreann, dála an scéil, cé nach maith liom í mar gheall ar na hiarrachtaí a rinne sí le Cassidy a chosaint.) Bhí fógra ina lámha aici a raibh an mana Trust Women air, agus an rud céanna i ‘nGaeilge’ Google – Muinín Mna! Ar ndóigh, is raimeis é seo. Ciallaíonn sé rud éigin ar nós Confidence of a Woman! (Cuir muinín sna mná nó Bíodh muinín againn as na mná an leagan ceart.)

Ceann de na samplaí is measa dá bhfaca mé de na drochaistriúcháin seo ná an t-aistriúchán a chuireann GoogleTranslate ar fáil ar ‘Rest In Peace’. Aistrítear sin mar ‘Chuid Eile i Síocháin’. Tá sé sin iomlán mícheart. Is geall le masla é don duine mharbh, dar liomsa. Shílfeá go mbeadh GoogleTranslate ábalta leagan ceart a chur isteach in áit cibé algartam a úsáideann siad leis na haistriúcháin a ghiniúint. Rinne mise gearán agus d’iarr mé orthu leagan ceart a chur ann, ach obair in aisce a bhí ann. Seo dóigh cheart le Rest In Peace a rá: Suaimhneas síoraí dá anam (fear); Suaimhneas síoraí dá hanam (bean); suaimhneas síoraí dá n-anam (níos mó ná duine amháin. Is féidir ‘uasal’ nó ‘dílis’ a chur i ndiaidh anam más mian leat. Tá dóigheanna eile ann (Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal, m.sh.) ach déanfaidh sin cúis.

Má tá Kindle agat, seans gur thug tú faoi deara fosta go bhfuil neart leabhar amuigh ansin a bhfuil Irish Edition luaite leo. Má amharcann tú orthu, is léir nach bhfuil iontu ach amaidí a aistríodh (go holc) le haistritheoir uathoibríoch.  Is é rud é, is cineál caimiléireachta na leabhair seo, a bhaineann úsáid as an phota dleachta d’údair ar Kindle Unlimited. Má leanann tú an nasc seo, gheobhaidh tú alt spéisiúil le David Gaughran faoin dóigh a n-oibríonn sé: http://davidgaughran.com/2017/06/03/amazon-has-a-fake-book-problem/

 

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