"When faced with a problem you do not understand,
do any part of it you do understand; then look at it again."
~(Robert A. Heinlein - "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress")

About to comment here for the very first time?
Check Where'd my Comment go?!!! to avoid losing it.
-

Friday, February 11, 2011

So, how good is computer translation?

In an earlier post ( What does my site look like in Spanish? ) I had noted that a person in Spain had visited my site, in Spanish, via Google Translate.

As this had to be a machine (computer) translation, I wondered just how good this kind of translation could be.

To test it, I decided to feed English into the translator, to be rendered as Spanish, and then take that result to be translated back into English, in this format...

   The original text in English,
   the Spanish translation of it,
   and that Spanish turned back into English.

Two prose examples:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Perfect Storm (1997) - Sebastian Junger...
   (Capturing the flavor of the place) ...
"The plate glass window in front is said to be the biggest barroom window in town. That's quite a distinction in a town where barroom windows are made small so that patrons don't get thrown through them."
  ...
"If Gloucester is the delinquent kid who's had a few scrapes with the law, New Bedford is the truly mean older brother who's going to kill someone one day."

La tormenta perfecta (1997) - Sebastian Junger ...
   (La captura el sabor del lugar) ...
"La ventana de cristal en frente se dice que es la ventana más grande cantina de la ciudad. Esa es una distinción en un pueblo donde las ventanas bar se hace pequeño por lo que los clientes no se produce a través de ellos."
  ...
"Si Gloucester es el joven delincuente que ha tenido una raspa pocos con la ley, de New Bedford es la verdad significa hermano mayor que va a matar a alguien un día."

The Perfect Storm (1997) - Sebastian Junger ...
   (capture the flavor of the place) ...
"The glass window in front is said to be the largest window bar in the city. That is a distinction in a town where the windows bar is small so that customers do not occur through them."
  ...
"If Gloucester is the young person who has had a few scrapes with the law, of New Bedford is the older brother really means that he will kill someone one day."

------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight (1969) - Jimmy Breslin
   (On the demise of gang leader Raymond the Wolf)...
"Raymond the Wolf passed away in his sleep one night from natural causes; his heart stopped beating when the three men who slipped into his bedroom stuck knives in it."

La banda que no podía disparar recto (1969) - Jimmy Breslin
   (en la desaparición del líder de la banda Raymond el lobo) ...
"Raymond el Lobo falleció en su sueño de una noche por causas naturales, su corazón dejó de latir cuando los tres hombres que se metió en su dormitorio cuchillos pegados en él."

The gang that could not shoot straight (1969) - Jimmy Breslin
   (in the disappearance of band leader Raymond wolf) ...
"Raymond Wolf died in his sleep of a night of natural causes, his heart stopped beating when the three men went into his bedroom knives stuck in him. "

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Handling prose doesn't appear to be one of its strengths.

For a real acid test, I'm going take one of my posts, and see what happens. This could get really messy...

A Boy and his Vampire
(This post is mostly about remakes)

  Owen: "How old are you, -- really?"  
   Abby: "Twelve, -- but I've been twelve for a really long time."

Let Me In is the story of 12-year old Owen, lonely and tormented by bullies at school, and of Abby; a very unusual girl of the same apparent age, with whom he becomes acquainted when she and her guardian move into the apartment next to his.

Based on the Swedish thriller Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One In), from the novel of the same name, it is the latest in the long-standing Hollywood tradition of taking an absolutely superb foreign film and remaking it for those who "don't want to read their movies".

What is not in that tradition is the fact that this remake stands in the same league as the original, to a degree I haven't seen since Gore Verbinski's The Ring.

The Swedes have been cranking out some interesting work lately, including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, already scheduled for an American remake with Daniel Craig.  For the role of Lisbeth Salander (the girl of the title), for a short while Emma Watson (Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films) was briefly considered for the remake, before being ultimately passed over for someone else. Lisbeth would have been one Hell of a change for Watson; very edgy and as big a step as Kurt Russell going from the nerdy kids he played in Disney movies to putting on the eye patch and becoming "Snake" Plissken  in John Carpenter's Escape From New York. (Believe it or not, even that one has a remake in the works.)

Before that, I'd have to rate Insomnia (with Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Hillary Swank) as maybe one of the most successful re-dos of a first-rate Swedish movie. That particular remake was directed by Christopher Nolan (Memento, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Inception) and that may have had much to do with it turning out so well.

Of course, Hollywood doesn't have to go overseas to mine something already done (and done very well) before. (They never seem interested in taking something that should have been good but was botched, and giving it another shot.)

Even the Coen Brothers are going down this path. After couple of decades of some of the most original work seen on the screen, they confessed to being inspired by The Odyssey for O Brother, Where Art Thou?, they adapted Cormac McCarthy's novel for No Country for Old Men, and now they are going as mainstream Hollywood as one can possibly get; they are remaking True Grit.

Scheduled for this Christmas, this is one remake that does not fill me with dread. I've not seen any of the trailers now available online (watching videos on a dial-up connection is an exercise in masochism), but some of the stills I've seen give me a very good feeling about this.

Jeff Bridges steps into John Wayne's role as Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn, and looks absolutely perfect for it.

Matt Damon is the Texas Ranger LaBoeuf, and while Damon can make me want to throw things at him when he opens his mouth politically, as an actor he has a lot more going for him than did singer Glen Campbell in the original.

Likewise, I have no problem with Josh Brolin taking over from Jeff Corey as Tom Chaney, the object of the manhunt the story is about.

Who I'll be most curious about is Barry Pepper (the sniper, in Saving Private Ryan, who would cross himself before blowing out the brains of some poor German soldier). He will be essaying the role of the outlaw "Lucky" Ned Pepper, a role that was filled by Robert Duvall in the original.

Now, that will be a challenge on a par with Steven Weber following in Jack Nicholson's footsteps in the TV remake of The Shining. I think Weber did a fine job of meeting that challenge. We'll just have to see how well Barry does.

As of now, the "True Grit" remake is scheduled for Christmas Day, 2010.

December 25th this year occurs on a Saturday. New movies are usually released on a Friday, with an occasional Wednesday or Thursday thrown in. I don't ever recall a Saturday being used before, BUT, this is the Coen Brothers we are talking about. So, anything can be on the plate where they are concerned.

But, WHY does Hollywood depend so much on remakes and sequels? Are they really that devoid of imagination?

I seriously doubt it. I believe some of the most imaginative people on the planet are in that industry, but, you must never forget that there are two words in "show business". Millions (lately hundreds of millions) are at stake in modern movies, and that is a powerful incentive to play it safe by remaking, or making sequels to movies that made money. It doesn't get any simpler than that.

As for sequels; there have been some good ones. But as far as most of them go, consider Robert Rodriguez's violent, over-the-top live action cartoon spoof of late 60's exploitation movies Machete.

As the end credits start, they announce...

Machete will return in

"MACHETE KILLS"

             and

"MACHETE KILLS AGAIN"

Right there, Mr. Rodriguez says it all about most sequels.

-

Un niño y su vampiro
(Este artículo es sobre todo acerca de remakes)

  Owen: "¿Cuántos años tienes, - en realidad?"
  Abby: "Doce, - pero he estado doce por un tiempo muy largo."

Let Me In es la historia de Owen de edad de 12 años, solo y atormentado por los matones en la escuela, y de Abby, una chica muy inusual de la misma edad aparente, con quien se conoció cuando ella y su tutor se mueven en el apartamento de al lado a la suya.

Basado en el thriller sueco Komma ratte Lat den en (Let the Right One In), de la novela del mismo nombre, que es el último de la tradición de Hollywood desde hace mucho tiempo de tomar una película extranjera absolutamente magnífico y rehacer que para los que "No quiero leer sus películas".

Lo que no está en que la tradición es el hecho de que esta nueva versión se encuentra en la misma liga que el original, en un grado que no he visto desde que Gore Verbinski, The Ring.

Los suecos se han arranque a cabo algunos trabajos interesantes últimamente, incluyendo La chica con el tatuaje del dragón, ya programadas para un remake americano con Daniel Craig. Para el papel de Lisbeth Salander (la chica del título), por un corto tiempo Emma Watson (Hermione Granger en las películas de Harry Potter) se examinó brevemente para la nueva versión, en última instancia, antes de ser pasado por alto a alguien más. Lisbeth habría sido un infierno de un cambio de Watson, muy nervioso y como gran paso uno como Kurt Russell, al pasar de los niños nerd que desempeñó en las películas de Disney a poner en el parche en el ojo y convertirse en "Snake" Plissken en Escape de John Carpenter de Nueva York. (Lo creas o no, incluso que uno tiene una nueva versión de las obras.)

Antes de eso, tendría que tipo de insomnio (con Al Pacino, Robin Williams y Hillary Swank), como tal vez uno de los más exitosos de re-dos de una película sueca de primer nivel. Esa nueva versión en particular fue dirigida por Christopher Nolan (Memento, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Inicial) y que puede haber tenido mucho que ver con que saliendo tan bien.

Por supuesto, Hollywood no tiene que ir al extranjero a algo mío ha hecho (y hacen muy bien) antes. (Ellos no parecen estar interesados en tomar algo que debería haber sido bueno, pero fue fallido, y darle otra oportunidad.)

Incluso los hermanos Coen van por este camino. Después de un par de décadas de algunos de los trabajos más originales vistos en la pantalla, que confesó haber sido inspirado en La Odisea de O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Que adapta la novela de Cormac McCarthy por No es país para viejos, y ahora van son como la corriente principal de Hollywood como uno puede conseguir posiblemente, están rehaciendo True Grit.

Prevista para esta Navidad, esta es una nueva versión que no me llenan de temor. No he visto a ninguno de los trailers ahora disponible en línea (ver videos en una conexión de acceso telefónico es un ejercicio de masoquismo), pero algunos de los fotogramas que he visto me da una sensación muy buena al respecto.

Jeff Bridges en el papel de los pasos de John Wayne como Rubén J. "Gallo" Cogburn, y se ve absolutamente perfecto para ello.

Matt Damon es el Texas Ranger LaBoeuf, y mientras que Damon se me dan ganas de tirar las cosas de él cuando abre la boca políticamente, como un actor que tiene mucho más a su favor que hizo el cantante Glen Campbell en el original.

Del mismo modo, no tengo ningún problema con Josh Brolin tomando el relevo de Jeff Corey como Tom Chaney, el objeto de la persecución de la historia está a punto.

¿Quién voy a ser más curioso es Barry Pepper (el francotirador, en Salvar al soldado Ryan, a quien le persignarse antes de soplar los sesos de algún soldado alemán pobres). Estará ensayando el papel de la margen de la ley "Lucky" Pepper Ned, un papel que estaba lleno de Robert Duvall en el original.

Ahora, eso será un desafío a la par con Steven Weber siguiente en los pasos de Jack Nicholson en la nueva versión televisiva de El resplandor. Creo que Weber hizo un buen trabajo de la reunión de ese desafío. Tendremos que ver qué tan bien se Barry.

A partir de ahora, el "True Grit" remake está prevista para el día de Navidad de 2010.

25 de diciembre de este año se produce en un sábado. Las nuevas películas suelen ser puesto en libertad el viernes, con un ocasional miércoles o jueves arrojados pulg No recuerdo nunca un sábado siendo utilizado antes, pero, se trata de los hermanos Coen que estamos hablando. Por lo tanto, cualquier cosa puede estar en la placa donde se refiere.

Pero, ¿por qué Hollywood depende tanto de remakes y secuelas? ¿Son realmente tan carente de imaginación?

Lo dudo seriamente. Creo que algunas de las personas más imaginativas en el planeta se encuentran en esa industria, pero, nunca hay que olvidar que hay dos palabras en el "show business". Millones (últimamente cientos de millones) están en juego en las películas modernas, y que es un poderoso incentivo para jugar sobre seguro por rehacer o hacer secuelas de películas que hicieron dinero. No hay nada más simple que eso.

En cuanto a secuelas, ha habido algunas buenas. Pero por lo que la mayoría de ellos van, considere violenta de Robert Rodriguez, el exceso de la parte superior-parodia de la historieta de acción en vivo de películas de explotación finales de los 60 Machete.

En los créditos finales de inicio, que anuncian ...

Machete regresará en

"MACHETE MATA"

    y

"Machete mata de nuevo"

Allí mismo, el Sr. Rodríguez lo dice todo acerca de las secuelas más.

-


A boy and his vampire
(This article is mostly about remakes)

  Owen: "How old are you - really?"
  Abby: "Twelve, - but I've been twelve for a very long time."

Let Me In is the story of Owen age 12, alone and tormented by bullies at school, and Abby, a very unusual girl's apparent age, whom he met when she and her tutor move in the apartment next to yours.

Based on the Swedish thriller Lat den ratte Komma in (Let the Right One In), the novel of the same name, which is the last of the Hollywood tradition for a long time for a foreign film absolutely gorgeous and redo that for "No I want to read his films."

What is that tradition is the fact that this new version is in the same league as the original, to an extent not seen since Gore Verbinski, The Ring.

The Swedes are starting out some interesting work lately, including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, already scheduled for an American remake with Daniel Craig. For the role of Lisbeth Salander (the girl of the title), for a short time Emma Watson (Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films) was briefly considered for the new version, before ultimately being passed over to someone else . Lisbeth would have a hell of a change of Watson, very nervous and as a major step as Kurt Russell, from the nerdy kids who played in the Disney movies to put in the eye patch and become "Snake" Plissken in John Carpenter's Escape from New York. (Believe it or not, even that one has a new version of the works.)

Before that, he would have that type of insomnia (with Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Hillary Swank), as perhaps one of the most successful re-two of a Swedish film class. This particular remake was directed by Christopher Nolan (Memento, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, MI) and may have had a lot to do with going so well.

Of course, Hollywood does not have to go abroad to something of mine has done (and done very well) before. (They do not seem interested in taking something that should have been good but was unsuccessful, and give him another chance.)

Even the Coen brothers are going down this path. After two decades of some of the most original seen on screen, who confessed to having been inspired by the Odyssey in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Who adapted the novel by Cormac McCarthy No Country for Old Men, and now they are as mainstream Hollywood as one can possibly get, are remaking True Grit.

Scheduled for this Christmas, this is a new version that does not fill me with fear. I have not seen any of the trailers now available online (see videos on a dial-up connection is an exercise in masochism), but some of the frames I've seen gives me a good feeling about it.

Jeff Bridges in the role of the steps of John Wayne as J. Reuben "Rooster" Cogburn, and is absolutely perfect for it.

Matt Damon is the Texas Ranger LaBeouf, and while Damon makes me want to throw things at him when he opens his mouth politically, as an actor who has much more going for it that made the singer Glen Campbell in the original.

Similarly, I have no problem with Josh Brolin taking over from Jeff Corey as Tom Chaney, the object of persecution of the story is about.

Who'll be most interesting is Barry Pepper (the sniper in Saving Private Ryan, who was crossing himself before blowing the brains of a poor German soldier). Will be rehearsing the role of outlaw "Lucky" Ned Pepper, a role that was filled with Robert Duvall in the original.

Now, that will be a challenge on par with Steven Weber follows in the footsteps of Jack Nicholson in the new television version of The Shining. I think that Weber did a good job of meeting that challenge. We have to see how well Barry.

From now on, the "True Grit" remake is scheduled for Christmas Day 2010.

December 25 this year occurs on a Saturday. New movies are usually released on Friday, with an occasional thrown in. Wednesday or Thursday on a Saturday do not remember ever being used before, but these are the Coen brothers are talking about. Therefore, anything can be on the plate where it relates.

But why Hollywood remakes and depends both sequels? Are they really so lacking in imagination?

I seriously doubt it. I think some of the most imaginative people on the planet are in this industry, but never forget that there are two words in show business. Million (ultimately hundreds of millions) are at play in modern movies, and is a powerful incentive to play it safe by remaking or making sequels of movies that made money. Nothing is more simple than that.

As for sequels, there have been some good ones. But what most of them go, consider Robert Rodriguez's violent, over-the-top parody of the live-action cartoon movie late 60's exploitation Machete.

In the end credits start, announcing ...

Machete return in

"MATA MACHETE"

    and

"Machete kills again"

There, Mr. Rodriguez says all about the sequels.

-


And, there you have it.

As G. Wolfe commented on the earlier article, you can generally get the gist of it, but formatting, capitalization and punctuation sometimes goes straight to Hell.

As for the prose you've labored hard to express in a particular way, it can be absolutely heartbreaking.

-
ADDENEDUM - 11 Feb 2011 - For those who may want to experiment with Google Translate

A gent in the UK noted...
"For example, I used Google Translate to translate the idiom 'out of the blue'
into Italian. The Italian translation is nonsense. However, if I translate
back to English, I get 'out of the blue'."

Be warned, the translated text on the right side of Google Translate's page overlays or links to the original text in some way, so if you cut and paste it back into the translation box, I expect it will invariably render it back into the original text.

What I had to do was to cut and past the translated text into a plain-text editor
(Notepad in my case) and then cut and paste from that, back into the translation box. (This act may will account for the loss of formatting, but the punctuation and capitalization problems remain.)

Doing that with his example gets...

   out of the blue
   di punto in bianco
   point blank

FYI
-

6 comments:

Gary said...

I believe this explains a lot about the instruction manual that came with my Chinese made home generator!

Anonymous said...

большое спасибо было интересно прочитать

Paul_In_Houston said...

And, that (above) translates (from Russian to English) as...
thanks a lot it was interesting to read

You're quite welcome. Glad you liked it.
Вы очень кстати. Рад, что вы это нравилось. :-)

Seffliva said...

I also using google translation every time I can't translate some words but sometimes I find some words not translated well. But then, I salute google for helping others in translation.
-----
Seff
website translation services

Anonymous said...

This may be the greatest piece of writing online...

Paul Gordon said...

WOW!!

What can I possibly add to that?

:-)
-

Followers

Stat Counter