Machine Translation

In class we translated a Spanish extract from a mobile phone user manual into English by copying and pasting it into the online Machine Translation engine http://babelfish.yahoo.com/. The translation that was produced by Babelfish was very literal, e.g ‘Distintos tipos de timbres para distinguir a las personas que le llaman’     was translated as ‘Different types of rings to distinguish those persons who they call him’

From this example we can see that Babelfish is unable to distinguish between a ring and a ringtone and pragmatic inconsistency is evident.

A better translation would perhaps be ‘Different types of ringtones to distinguish between callers/the persons who are calling.’

In spite how inaccurate MT can be I must admit I do depend on it a lot to help me to get the gist of something and find it very useful, fast, cheap and easy to use.

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