TIP #141 - This tip was sent on the week: 25th Nov - 1st Dic, 2007

More on Word Magic Translators


In a past tip, we saw how just by omitting a comma or capitalizing the wrong word messes up automatic translation.


Let’s recap:

  • Hello, Sugar.

  • Hello, sugar

  • I use sugar every day

Turned into:

  • Hola Azucare.

  • Hola azucare

  • Utilizo a Sugar todos los días
    (taking SUGAR as a verb!)

We also saw that a User that does not know any Spanish will not be aware of the mishap. He/she is responsible for introducing a badly-written source text in English but is innocent of the results.


Then, we said that using the Translator Professional Version 5.0 both problems were easily fixed. Let’s see:


Translate each phrase interactively and click on the retranslation icon:


The first phrase translates and then re-translates to:


Hello Sugar = Hola Sugar = Hello Sugar (as the verb sweeten)


Everything seems to indicate that the translation is fine, but take into account that “Sugar” was retranslated as the verb “Sugar” (sweeten), which means it was not actually well translated. To fix this, select Sugar and click on Noun (in the Parts of Speech Box). With this, everything falls into place.


The second phrase is fixed in the same manner as the first.


The third is the most tricky one and requires a little bit more knowledge of Spanish to notice that the meaning of the verb “to use” chosen by the Translator is incorrect and can even be considered sexually inappropriate.


Fortunately, you have the retranslation at hand and, upon reading it, will soon discover this mishap:



I use Sugar every day.


Utilizo a Sugar todos los días


I use (take unfair advantage of) Sugar daily


To what do we owe such a blunder? To the User writing Sugar with a capital ‘S’ at the beginning (for no apparent reason) and the program correctly and innocently “interpreting” it as a person.



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