Lost in translation

lost in translation

You probably use Google Translator to look for a word or a sentence, right? I do that a lot. But sometimes the translator translates wrong. It’s good in finding separate words but when it comes to whole sentences, it’s wrong. If you want to learn a new language, don’t use the Google one. Maybe you find words but the grammar is not to be trusted. I speak Swedish besides Finnish and English. It’s more correct in Swedish than in Finnish. But it’s not perfect. The translator can be funny too. If you translate a whole page, it can either look silly or irritate you. On WordPress you can download a translator widget but it’s not great either. Someone had one on their blog and when I looked at my blog in Finnish, there were words that wasn’t right at all.

Here’s a few examples of how translators can be wrong. Sentences from my blog posts. How to read these translated parts, is another story.

In English

A lot of other people in my age already have a career and a family. – Blog post Feb 14, 2017,  My great expectations

Translated to Finnish

Paljon muita ihmisiä minun ikä on jo uran ja perheen.

It should be like this.

Monella minun iässäni on jo ura ja perhe.

It can be said in different ways but that’s more correct than the translate on Google. For a Finn, it sounds kind of silly. The Swedish translation is more correct.

In Swedish

En hel del andra människor i min ålder redan har en karriär och en familj.

Even then some words are mixed up. It should be “har redan” and not “redan har”

One more that is almost right.

In English

Everybody probably doesn’t like what you do but you can’t please everyone. – Blog post Jan 13, 2017, Just put your mind into it

In Finnish

Kaikki luultavasti ei pidä siitä, mitä tehdä, mutta et voi miellyttää kaikkia.

It should be

Kaikki luultavasti ei pidä siitä mitä teet, mutta et voi miellyttää kaikkia.

Or the end can also be. “mutta kaikkia ei voi miellyttää” In Finnish there are different ways to say things. I don’t know which is the correct grammar though. It’s a complex language with different rules.

In Swedish

Allt du förmodligen inte kommer att gilla vad du gör, men du kan inte göra alla nöjda.

It should be

Alla förmodligen kommer inte att gilla vad du gör, men du kan inte göra alla nöjda.

Google Translator can be a funny place. You should never take things for granted when you use it. It’s more of a guideline and it’s a helper. If I didn’t use it, I couldn’t write this blog. It’s the easiest and fastest way to search for words, instead of trying to find them in a dictionary. If you want the exact grammar of a language, it’s better to ask a native to help you. Any translator online shouldn’t be taken too seriously but yet you shouldn’t stop using it. It has it’s disadvantage but it’s also a great tool.

3 thoughts on “Lost in translation

  1. Google translate into Turkish can have some hilarious outcomes. I once used it trying to buy a specific type of screwdriver but ended up asking about the guys shoe or something. I couldnt understand why he kept staring at his feet!


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