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TIP #97 - This tip was sent on the week: 9th - 15th Jul, 2006

97 ESI PRO & Translation - Part XII - Translating a "difficult" phrase

This tip applies to the following programs:

• ESI Professional

In the previous tip, we mentioned that, with ESI PRO, the user has to put in a little effort, but that he/she will get a good translation. It would be foolish to think that a good translation may be obtained totally “effortlessly”, like putting bread in a toaster, pushing a button and having it pop out buttered and ready.


With ESI STD, this only occurs in 70% of the automatic translation cases. The rest of the cases require repairing, using Interactive Translation.


Furthermore, the person doing the translation should have a good notion of the grammatical structure of the phrase. In other words: know how to drive the vehicle, distinguish between a well-translated phrase and a badly-translated one. And more importantly: know how to distinguish between a good input text and a bad one…know what GI = GO means.


In the previous examples used to demonstrate Interactive Translation, we only used short phrases that can be fixed by a single click. We’d now like to demonstrate the power of ESI PRO through a more complex example, like the following one.


Note: The original in English of this phrase is perfectly-well structured, grammatically, but the translation comes out wrong with ESI STD and also with the other translators that were tested. T1 and T2 are translations obtained using other available translation programs in the market, the best ones we could find. We prefer not to mention the names of these programs as they can be easily verified by the reader.

Original: A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.


T1: Una gente de error común hace tratando de diseñar algo completamente infalible debe subestimar el ingenio de tontos completos


T2: Una gente común del error hace cuando intenta diseñar algo totalmente a toda prueba debe subestimar la ingeniosidad de tontos completos.


ESI STD: Unas personas comunes de error marca al intentar diseñar algo completamente a prueba de tontos es menospreciar la ingeniosidad de perfectos tontos.


As we can see in this case, both T1 and T2, as well as the translation obtained using ESI STD, are very poor; they do not make any sense at all. The person receiving this text in Spanish will not have any idea at all of what the message is about.


The problem with those “other translation programs” T1 & T2 is that this is as far as they will go. They can’t do anything beyond this point. The vehicle fell and sank into the river and the case is closed. As the French would say … Ce la vie! (That’s life!)


The big difference that sets ESI PRO apart is that the process need not end there. Interactive Translation is just starting. Now ESI PRO hands the control over to the User, giving him/her the interactive tools to fix the translation, as we shall see in the following Tip.



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