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 TIP #149   This tip was sent on the week: 24th Feb - 1st Mar, 2008

Another Case of True Retranslation

This Tip applies to the following products: Translator Professional 5.0, Translator Professional Plus 5.0

Here is a curious and somewhat funny instance: we tried translating the very simple phrase “Pasa feliz!”  (Be happy!) and, to everyone’s surprise, it rendered something totally unexpected:

Pasa feliz! = Happy raisin!

We tried out this phrase in two other online translators. One rendered, “Spend happy!”, while the other rendered, “Happy raisin!,” same as ours.

“Spend happy” does not have any meaning that remotely resembles the original, while “Happy raisin!” is a perfectly acceptable and syntactically correct translation, regardless of the fact that it is not what we meant. It is not mandatory for a translation software to interpret the “intentions” of the person, but only to “translate” according to grammar rules…and that’s exactly what it did!

The great difference is that “Happy Raisin” is the only thing obtained using our competitor’s Internet program. To top it off, a User that does not know enough English will probably think it’s slang for wishing a person a good time.  

On the other hand, with the Word Magic Translator Professional, the user will be able to see “La uva pasa feliz” using retranslation, which will in turn indicate that it is not what he/she meant. He/she will be able to click on “Pasa” to transform it into a Verb and improve the phrase.

Better yet, the Translator Professional Plus offers a more useful schema: the user is simultaneously presented with the two possible translations (Translation Options):

    1. Happy raisin
    2. Go by happy

Besides the two retranslations (true or real):  

    1. La uva pasa feliz
    2. Pase feliz

Solve the problem by just clicking on #2!  

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