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24 May 2013

Using On-Line Translators

One of the questions I hear frequently is why we need human translators if we can use on-line translators. And, the nearby standing question: I can translate my text with the on-line dictionary - why I need books or lessons?

The answer is very easy. An online translator does not understand the sense of the text. It only translates the narrow quantity of words inserted in it's database. The human brain can't contain such quantity of the words but it can understand the sense of the phrase.

I normally use Word Reference and Яндекс online translators for my work. It's comfortable because I do not need to open books to look for possible translations of this or that word. Now, use one of them to translate the first phrase I found when I opened FB:

A simple Russian phrase without any "background"
Улыбайтесь: это заставляет людей ломать голову что же у вас на уме
we can translate so:
Smile! It makes persons rack their brains over your intentions.
Here is thee translation of one of my favorite on-line translators
http://translate.reference.com/
And smile: it makes people crush the head that same you have in the back of his mind

Why is it so? Let's take one of the words we needed to translate the phrase.


ум

Общая лексика Право 
муж.
mind; brains мн. ч. разг. (разумwitintellect
человек большого ума — man of great intellect; very clever man, person of keen intellect
человек выдающегося ума — master-spirit
от большого ума — in one's infinite wisdom
спятить, свихнуться, своротить, сбрендить с ума — разг. to go out of one's mind / head
вы с ума сошли! — are you out of your senses?
держать в уме — to keep smth. in one's head
перебирать в уме — to turn smth. over in one's mind
доходить до чего-л. своим умом — to work smth. by oneself, to come to smth. on one's own
раскидывать умом — разг. to think smth. over
жить своим умом — to think for oneself, to live his own way
жить чужим умом — to live as others tell one to

This on-line translator has not the word we need but we can take one word with more or less corresponding sense. According to our language experience.

Now, try to translate with on-line translator this one:

...and comment to it:
 В России сел в машину и поскакал....

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