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The shallowness of Google Translate
By Thom Holwerda, submitted by Morgan on 2018-02-05 23:04:48

Such a development would cause a soul-shattering upheaval in my mental life. Although I fully understand the fascination of trying to get machines to translate well, I am not in the least eager to see human translators replaced by inanimate machines. Indeed, the idea frightens and revolts me. To my mind, translation is an incredibly subtle art that draws constantly on one's many years of experience in life, and on one's creative imagination. If, some "fine" day, human translators were to become relics of the past, my respect for the human mind would be profoundly shaken, and the shock would leave me reeling with terrible confusion and immense, permanent sadness.

As a translator myself, I can indeed confirm Google Translate is complete and utter garbage, but the idea that I would "mourn" the end of translators seems outlandish to me. The unstoppable march of technology has eliminated countless jobs over the course of human existence, and if translators are next, I don't see any reason to mourn the end of my occupation. Of course, it'd suck for me personally, but that's about it.

That being said, I'm not afraid of running out of work any time soon. Google Translate's results are pretty terrible, and they only seem to be getting worse for me, instead of getting better. There's no doubt in my mind that machine translation will eventually get good enough, but I think it'll take at least another 20 years, if not more, to get there.

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Translate is horrible
By Poseidon on 2018-02-05 23:54:58
Yes it’s horrible. Makes me wonder if there’s any translators or scholars involved in google (getting paid for it).

I think google treats it like a crappy “work on it for free for us via snippet” without digging deep into context and syntax rules.
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RE: Translate is horrible
By FlyingJester on 2018-02-06 00:14:28
Or perhaps it is already achieving its intended purpose. It allows someone with zero understanding of a certain language to translate a very basic gist of a paragraph, getting at least a basic understanding of the passage.

Any words that seem completely incorrect can be exchanged for alternatives until something resembling sense can be made.

Of course it's not as good as a real translator. But it's free, it's instant, and infinitely better than simply staring at an unfamiliar language and knowing nothing of what it means.
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Not only it is becoming worse.
By GDXN on 2018-02-06 00:23:51
Actually I'm seeing that real translators that translate to my native language or from it to English are also becoming worse, this is more prevalent as the companies tend to not hire even a half specialized translators but lazy general ones that when they find an unknown or ambiguous word don't search for its meaning and base it's translation in a supposition.
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ML and AI are based on the past, on statistic
By fabrica64 on 2018-02-06 00:43:16
ML, AI and "neural networks" just try to learn and decide from experience. In other words learning from statistical analysis.

Do anyone really think that statistical analysis can translate emotions? That can decide if something is beautiful or ugly? Computers are deterministic machines, have no notion about emotion and will never have.

Edited 2018-02-06 00:45 UTC
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point of google translate
By jemmyw on 2018-02-06 00:44:18
I think the author of the article is missing the point of google translate as used by most people, which is to read the menu at restaurants and ask for directions.

I don't know how much research will be going into a broader contextual transation ability but I'm not sure google translate, a free tool, is where this would surface to disrupt the translation service industry worth ~$38bn
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They should take example from
By drcoldfoot on 2018-02-06 01:59:56
Jehovah's Witneses. The most translated site in the world(600 languagesjw.org), and even the most translated video. (450 languages)
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GT: Official Tool of Translators
By xeoron on 2018-02-06 02:59:42
At my work the translators will dump documents into GT, then fix up the wording. They claim it is faster doing it this way instead of doing a straight translation, otherwise they can't meet the demands they have daily.

If I use GT for just a phrase and send it to them to check, they always reply back saying it needs the certain changes and why, so clearly they catch errors.
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RE: ML and AI are based on the past, on statistic
By agentj on 2018-02-06 03:28:17
These automated translators are complete failure and they have so many poor quality translations or complete opposite meaning - until recently GT translated "배불러요" (I'm full) in Korean as "I'm hungry", or "내꺼야" (mine as for belonging) into Polish "kopalnia" - which has meaning of underground mine. Until we develop fully sentient AI which can perform on at least of the human level, I think human translators are pretty safe.

Edited 2018-02-06 03:29 UTC
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Comment by ilovebeer
By ilovebeer on 2018-02-06 04:35:28
Google Translate is far from garbage. It serves its' purpose just fine much of the time and will only continue to get better. For the people who insist that it's complete crap, I'd like to see you do better. There's no shortage of people who struggle with their own native language & grammar, much less do a great job of translating it.

The Google Translate AI has also been successfully helping decode ancient languages that have stumped real people who specialize in that field. I'm pretty sure none of them would describe GT as `horrible`, `complete and utter garbage`, and `complete failure`.
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Garbage?
By Soulbender on 2018-02-06 04:44:04
Are you high? It's perfectly serviceable for simpler phrases and sentences.
If you want garbage there's Facebook's translations.
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