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September 27, 2006



I use the free translation sites occasionally & mostly to translate from German. Translated text always requires a lot of editing before it makes any sense.

They are also a source of humor:


I figured as much!

Beowulf is in Old English, while Middle English covers the various forms of our language spoken and written between the Norman Conquest and the mid to late 1500s. Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog and La Journelle Nouvelle de Katherine de Swyneford on my blog roll are among my guilty pleasures. The conceit is grand and it actually is not too difficult to make sense of what they are writing in Middle English about modern topics.


I doubt very much that google does your blog justice in Italian. Translation by rote or machine is awful, dangerous, and always hilarious.

I work as a social worker and there are not enough of us who are bilinguals to go around. Many people use those sites to translate letters to clients if they can't get one of us to do it for them. It's all done very literally. For example, a letter to a client explaining the medical benefits she would be eligible for included the term *labor and delivery* (related to her pregnancy) and google translated that into Spanish as *struggle and shipment*! Do you imagine she was insulted or just confused?

Is it Beowulf that's written in middle English? Don't have a good memory of high school literature, but I do remember one teacher reading us *something* that sounded very odd for English.

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