Sunday, November 07, 2010

Lost in Translation

Looking through who has been visiting the blog, I noticed that someone had translated my entry on the Bert Gordon movie "The Magic Sword" into Turkish. I have no idea how Google's English-to-Turkish translation will handle things like "tig ol' bitties" or "Lodac's all 'Wha?'" (ETA: Looking at the page again, it appears that Google punts on those two phrases, simply reproducing "tig ol' bitties" and "Wha?" verbatim in English). But I kind of wish I could understand Turkish so I could find out.

I remember a couple of years ago, running across some entries of mine that were being republished as content on someone else's blog. But it looked as if they had been translated into some other language, Chinese or Russian or something, and then translated back to English, because the syntax was seriously screwed up. And though I could vaguely remember what I had said on the subjects listed in the taglines, I sometimes had to struggle to find what I had said in what was now written. I know that some people get really upset when their content has been appropriated in that way, but I didn't sweat it too much. Number one, they credited me. Number two, who knew whether their crappy little cut-and-paste blog would get any traffic at all, other than from web-search spiders? And number three, they probably wouldn't be around long.

And sure enough, I can't find any examples now. So I just have to imagine. Or else go to the trouble of translating a page into some other language and then translating it back. But really, is that what we've saved all this daylight for?

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