Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Job security for translation professionals

"We posted a story that I picked up"

That's the name of the website?

"Living with human"

That's a subhead on the website? Well, what does the body copy say?

"In my parents have a dog. Golden Retriever dog breed is. Born in the house of his relatives seven years ago, I came to my home...The name of the dog in my house is such a ram. Seems to have dated a girl like that come out in comic guys because my father sold. But what my father would have been wondering. Lamb is a male. Family life and lamb we began all told.

Ok. The punchline here is computer translation, as if you hadn't already guessed.

This all started when I typed in an old URL for my running club. Instead of using the .com suffix, I used the original .org. It seems that in the last few years, the abandoned URL was bought by a Japanese firm in order to publish nonsensical stories.At least that's my take from the translated copy.

I used Google Translate to make some sense of the Japanese characters. I got similar results from Bing Translator. I'm sure other online tools would have been the same.

And so this experience has taught me two things:
  1. There's no substitute for a professional human translator.
  2. There's value in keeping old domain names, because you never know who will snatch them up...or why.

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