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¿Security Fix en Español?

Google offers a translation tool that can aid readers of many languages. It can help Spanish-only speakers read the Security Fix column in Spanish, for example.

Here's a message for our Spanish-language readers:

Si prefieres leer la columna "Security Fix" ("del arreglo de la seguridad") en español, puedes ver siempre el Google traduces (Google Translate) la versión del columna, disponible en este acoplamiento. Este servicio traduce el contexto de la historia bien, y puede ayudar a los que hablen solamente español sigan siendo enterados de las cosas que los usuarios de la computadora del Microsoft Windows necesitan hacer para permanecer seguros en el Internet.

Google Translate's version: If you prefer to read the Security Fix column in Spanish, you can always view the Google Translate version of the blog, available at this link. This service translates the context of the story well, and can help those who speak only Spanish remain aware of the things that Microsoft Windows computer users need to do to stay safe on the Internet.

Security Fix would be interested in hearing from native speakers of other languages on whether Google Translate does a decent job of translating the blog's content into a variety of languages. Please comment below and let us know.

By Brian Krebs  |  April 9, 2007; 12:40 PM ET
Categories:  From the Bunker  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Happy Birthday Security Fix
Next: I'd Like a Double Espresso and Your Password, Please


You must be using a different version of Google Tranlate tha what is available to us peons. When I look at the Spanish to English translation of the embedded Spanish in this column, I get:

"If you prefer to read the column "Security Fix" ("of the adjustment of the security") in Spanish, you can always see the Google you translate (Google Translate) the version of the column, available in this connection. This service translates the context of the affluent history, and which can help to speak only Spanish continue being found out the things that the users of the computer of the Microsoft Windows need to make to remain safe in the Internet."

This is not the quality of translation I want for my blogs.

Posted by: Jim Horning | April 9, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Hi Jim -- Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems like you took the text that I had Google translate into Spanish and simply had it converted back into English, effectively retranslating the translation. I suppose you could do this all day with increasingly interesting results (particularly in the comments section where colloquialisms are more common), but that wasn't the point of this whole blog entry.

Posted by: Bk | April 9, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

No sirvió para nada.

Those links brought me to a Google frame saying I was viewing a translation, but the content was still English. I must be doing something wrong. The Washington Post main page also does not translate.

The BBC and CNN pages work fine. I can't spot the problem. The link is constructed exactly the same. I'm using FF

I did not expect to see a translation worth reading, so I was surprised to see it recommended in the first place. Has there been some recent improvement to this technology which has been struggling along for years now?

Posted by: G Mahoney | April 9, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Whatever the quality of outcome, I applaud your initiative.
Hopefully it will be good enough to send off to friends who can only read Spanish.

Doing this it'd be illegal in Quebec. (French only by law) How colonial is that!?

Posted by: HB | April 9, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

As a professional translator, I'd say the Spanish is... OK for comprehension purposes. Not as bad as the back-translation above, but still... well, here's my best take on rendering the grammatical and stylistic errors into English:

"If you prefer to read the column "Security Fix" (of fixing of the security) in Spanish, you can see always the Google translates (Google Translate) the version of the column, available at this connection. This service translates the context of the history
well, and can help those who speak only Spanish continues being up-to-date on the things the users of the computer of Microsoft Windows need to do to remain secure on the Internet."

(Some of the errors in the Google translation: 1) translates "link" as "acoplamiento," which is an engineering/electrical term. "Link" for hyperlink should either be rendered as "enlace" or left in English. 2) "Historia" in Spanish means either "history" or "story" in the sense of tale or anecdote. It does NOT mean news story - that would be "articulo" or "noticia." 3) uses "sigan" (conjugated third-person plural, which is appropriate in English) where the Spanish should use "seguir" (infinitive.) 4) "The computer of Microsoft Windows" - this is an instance where the sentence structure simply needs to be rewritten to make sense in Spanish, which is machine translation's Achilles' heel.)

So no, there have been no major breakthroughs in machine translation in the past year. Machine translation is fine for internal use, the "I just need to get an idea of what this document says" kind of stuff. It still can't produce results you'd want to show to your customers or inflict on your readers for more than a page or so.

Posted by: Erica | April 9, 2007 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Erica. I'm a native Spanish speaker, and didn't have much trouble understanding the Spanish-language paragraph, but it's still far from acceptable. In this case, there was little room for ambiguity (anyone can figure out what "the computer of the Microsoft Windows" means) but I can imagine many situation in which the alteration of word order or a verb tense may make all the difference in the world.

All in all, the results remind me of the Hungarian/English dictionary of a famous Monty Python skit.

Posted by: Dani | April 9, 2007 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a native Japanese speaker, but a quick look at the Japanese BETA of Google Translate for the same bit of text leaves me with a similar impression as people have of the Spanish--the translation is decent, but not perfect. English-Japanese translations are especially difficult since the languages are unrelated, and I'll give Google kudos for doing a better job than most. I've seen a lot of translation software turn text into complete nonsense. Here, at least, I get the main context, even if nuance is lost and specific meaning sometimes obscured. For a short bit of text in a pinch, this is O.K. If I needed concise meanings, however, or had several pages of material, I'd probably find a person to do the translating or else invest my money in language lessons.

On the other hand, when Google Translate takes the translated text back to English, it does turn to nonsense, and other Japanese texts that are already correct fare only slightly better when run through Google Translate. It's just hard when dealing with a language that is accustomed to saying things in an obscure, indirect manner to shift to the very direct English without adding some contextual information into the translation, and no translation software anywhere is able to analyze context and implied meanings.

Posted by: blert | April 10, 2007 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Google translator is not perfect, but as we say here in Spain 'a falta de pan, buenas son tortas' (something like if you don't have the perfect thing, get used to something not as perfect). I've found it to be a great tool when I've to get the 'idea' of a text in a language I don't understand (German, for instance). It may not be perfect but, knowing the limitations, it is an excellent tool.

Posted by: jcanto | April 10, 2007 1:37 AM | Report abuse

Now the link is working for me. Something changed either here or there. Que bueno, although I'm unlikely to prefer Security Fix in Spanish instead of English, I find Google Translate and Babelfish to be invaluable when I'm translating from a language I don't know at all.

Posted by: G Mahoney | April 13, 2007 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Some things way off:


"But the most effective step consumers can take to avoid being victimized by bank fraud is to regularly monitor their checking and savings accounts for inaccuracies or anomalies, he added."

was translated as:

Pero los consumidores más eficaces del paso pueden tomar para evitar de ser victimized por fraude del banco son supervisan regularmente su comprobación y los ahorros explican inexactitudes o las anomalías, él agregó.

A first attempt to translate the first sentence back to English as:

"But the most effective consumers of the step can take in order to avoid being victimized by bank fraud are supervising their their proof (or receipt) and savings explain inaccuracies or anomalies, he added."

Really no way to make sense of this. But if I translate it myself from English to Spanish, I get:

"Pero para evitar ser víctimas del fraude bancario, el paso más efectivo que pueden tomar los consumidores es revisar regularmente sus cuentas de cuenta corriente y de ahorros para detectar errores o anomalías, agregó"

Others may prefer other renderings, but the Google translation of this phrase is perplexing.

Posted by: H. Goddard | April 18, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

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