automatic translation

Okay, so I look a lot at fountain pens online … Amazon and elsewhere. That’s my one-year-old-hobby, in case you’d missed that — fountain pens πŸ™‚ .

Sometimes, in Amazon I notice the vendors must have used Google Translate, or something similar, to describe the item in question. Most of the time it’s at least understandable and sometimes even hilarious.

DSC_1682One case that sticks out in my memory is the fountain pen Pilot Stella 90s. It said something like ‘the nib is small but pretty and cheerful, close to the skin (!) … its glow was like the stars in the night sky’ et cetera … sounded really poetic. That nib is the one in my picture, by the way. Stella is one of my best writers.

I took that photo yesterday with out little point & shoot Canon camera. It’s still going strong — it’s been about ten years, at least, since we bought it. On my upcoming trip, I won’t lug the heavy DSLR camera across the Atlantic. I’m tired of that and I’m going to travel super light this time. Each time I’ve been home … towards the end of the stay, I’ve always realised I’d packed a lot of stuff I never used. So I’ll only use a carry-on suitcase I bought in Costco and my over-sized handbag. My little computer will go in the latter.

It will feel liberating, not having to wait at that conveyor belt, nervously looking at all the black suitcases emerging from underneath the flaps. Flying used to be a pleasure I anticipated with joy — now it’s just something I have to endure in order to get from A to B.

But now … I lost my train of thought here … the Google Translate! I wonder how many people that actually believe in the stuff?! That they type in a sentence in their own language and get a correct translation?! That’s kind of scary, if they do that! I can imagine a lot of misunderstandings! I use it occasionally for words, but I don’t take it for granted it’s right — when it doesn’t make any sense, I have to look for other sources. Swedish, Danish and Norwegian are very close [especially when reading], but make no mistake — there are many ‘false friends’. Β«RoligΒ» in Swedish means something fun or comical, whereas in Danish/Norwegian it’s peaceful and serene πŸ™‚ Danish is more difficult for me than Norwegian, and spoken Danish I don’t understand at all … only the occasional word.

9 Replies to “automatic translation”

  1. Google translations are the worst. It helps when you need help with something and have sense enough not to rely on it, but it’s terrible to see product descriptions published as they came out of the automated translator. It saddens me as a human translator how little effort is put into translating online content properly. Anyway, end of rant; have a safe trip and have fun, I’m hoping you’ll return with some stories to blog about!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. πŸ™‚ They almost nailed it!

      This is funny — we talked about it in the Swedish fountain pen group … even though we were native speakers, we didn’t know the Swedish words for stuff like nib, converter, feed and so on. There were perfectly good, Swedish words for all those terms. Since I lived here, when this interest started I had no clue, but I didn’t know what tripod was in Swedish either and felt inclined to say “lens” in Swedish instead of “objektiv”.

      Nib = stift

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I would assume that someone who is relying on the translator for product description only does so because they have no real person who can double check for context, punctuation, spelling or terminology?

    Like

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