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mardi 15 novembre 2011

Do you get mustard up your nose when something doesn't make sense? Fun with Google translate

According to the tweets I've been reading, Google has plans to roll out a phone-based translator. Now you can get gobbledegook in real time!

I and my colleagues won't be going out of business anytime soon with translations like the following. In fact, we might get plenty of work correcting them (though people relying on their mobile phone apps will be out of luck. Let's hope Google translations don't start any wars). In the first one, the Google back translation is funnier than the real back translation, so I've put it in instead.

English: He had a weathered face
Google French: Il avait un visage surmonté
Google back translation into French: His face was topped

English: Early in the episode, all 16 competitors did a group program, with each team showing off signature lifts or other moves. (From the Star on November 15th, 2011, concerning Battle of the Blades)
Google French: Au début de l'épisode, les 16 concurrents ont un programme de groupe, chaque équipe exhibant ascenseurs signature ou autre se déplace.
Back translation of the Google French: At the beginning of the episode, the 16 competitors have a group program, each team exhibiting signature of elevators or other deplacing oneself.

English: For crying out loud, he said as he got egg on his face.
Google French: Pour crier, dit-il obtenu d'œuf sur son visage.
Back translation of the Google French: To cry, he said obtained of egg on his face.

English: To make matters worse, the pickup truck driver who was behind me and tailgating started to make his pass on me before I had even cleared the left lane. (From the Star on November 15th, 2011, concerning lane changes – Wheels section)
Google French: Pour aggraver les choses, le chauffeur du camion de ramassage qui était derrière moi et le talonnage commencé à se faire passer sur moi avant, j'avais même ouvert la voie de gauche.
Back translation of the Google French: To worsen things, the driver of the picking-up truck which was behind me and the tailgating begun to make itself pass on me in front, I had even opened the left lane.

And now for some translations of expressions in French:

French: La moutarde me monte au nez quand je vois des mauvaises traductions.
What it really means in English: I see red when I see bad translations.
What Google thinks it means: Mustard up my nose when I see poor translations.

French: J'y ai mis le paquet.
What it really means in English: I went all out.
What Google thinks it means: I put the package.

French: Je n'ai pas les yeux en face des trous.
What it really means in English: I'm half asleep.
What Google thinks it means: I do not have eyes in front of the hole.

French: Elle se met toujours le doigt dans l'oeil.
What it really means in English: She`s always way off base.
What Google thinks it means: She always puts his finger in the eye.

French: Cet homme-là m'a posé un lapin.
What it really means in English: That guy stood me up.
What Google thinks it means: This man asked me a rabbit.

Québec French is even more fun with Google:

French: Y essaye de me passer un sapin.
What it really means in English: He's trying to put one over on me.
What Google thinks it means: Y is trying to do without a tree.

French: J'ai d'la broue dans le toupet.
What it really means in English: I'm flipping out.
What Google thinks it means: I have the brew in the nerve.

French: C'te gars-là, il a du front tout le tour de la tête.
What it really means in English: That guy has one hell of a nerve.
What Google thinks it means: C'te guys, it has the front in the back of the head.

French: La pizza ou le chinois, c'est changer 4 trente-sous pour une piasse.
What it really means in English: Whether you order pizza or Chinese food, it's all the same thing.
What Google thinks it means: Pizza or Chinese, is thirty-change 4 cents for a dollar.

French: Moé, ça m'fait rien d'être habillée comme la chienne à Jacques.
What it really means in English: I don't care if I'm dressed badly.
What Google thinks it means: Me, it makes me not to be dressed like the dog to Jacques.

There. Now you know why you still need us.
Don't forget to call. Or email. My email is domamillette (at) gmail.com.