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Automatic Language Translation Still Unsatisfactory | blog@CACM


The automatic translators Google Translate and DeepL Translate still have trouble recognizing the second person singular and plural and the polite form, even in very simple sentences. The results in French, Italian and Spanish are sometimes right, sometimes wrong; i.e., rather random. DeepL sometimes offers (right or wrong) alternatives. Progress in this area leaves much to be desired. The available datasets are probably incomplete. Solutions based on statistical probability are apparently reaching their limits. The source language is German. Red means incorrect.

 

DeepL Translate

Bringst du mir bitte das Buch?

English

Will you please bring me the book?

French

Voulez-vous s’il vous plaît m’apporter le livre?

Italian

Mi porti il libro, per favore?

Spanish

¿Podría por favor traerme el libro?

 

Holt ihr die Kinder ab?

English

Do you pick up the children?

French

Est-ce que vous venez chercher les enfants?

Italian

Vieni a prendere i bambini?

Spanish

¿Recoges a los niños?

 

Wissen Sie, wann der Zug fährt?

Engliah

Do you know when the train leaves?

French

Savez-vous quand le train part ?

Italian

Sa quando parte il treno?

Spanish

¿Sabes cuándo sale el tren?

 

 

Google Translate

Bringst du mir bitte das Buch?

English

Can you bring me the book, please?

French

Pouvez-vous m’apporter le livre, s’il vous plaît ?

Italian

Mi porti il libro, per favore?

Spanish

¿Puedes traerme el libro, por favor?

 

Holt ihr die Kinder ab?

English

Do you guys pick up the kids?

French

Est-ce que vous ramassez les enfants?

Italian

Voi ragazzi andate a prendere i bambini?

Spanish

¿Ustedes recogen a los niños?

 

Wissen Sie, wann der Zug fährt?

English

Do you know when the train leaves?

French

Savez-vous quand le train part?

Italian

Sai quando parte il treno?

Spanish

¿Sabes cuándo sale el tren?

 

Herbert Bruderer (herbert.bruderer@bluewin.ch; bruderer@retired.ethz.ch) is a retired lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at ETH Zurich and a historian of technology.


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