Sunday, January 6, 2013

Google translate bad

I have written before on the perils of machine translation, as have other linguists.

Recently, Google translate, or at least associated technologies such as its Text To Speech (TTS) system, seem to have been experiencing some slightly hilarious bugs or instances of data corruption. In this example, the TTS engine appears to spuriously change certain sentence-final word combinations to the curiously ludicrous phrase "praise the iPad".

It appears that Google have been working on some emergency fixes for this problem which have not yet been altogether successul. In this example, notice how "filled with" is apparently spoken as "filled bad" when rendered with the TTS engine! The translation (although still incorrect) is apparently not affected by this specific bug.

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