13

Sometimes I use Google Translate to translate text from/to English/French to/from Esperanto.

Is Google Translate good enough, or should I avoid it?

22

I wouldn't recommend it for translation to Esperanto. Experienced Esperanto speakers immediately smell the Googlish Esperanto when they read it as it's quality is quite poor.

I once received an email from a woman who wanted some sentence in Esperanto as a tattoo. She asked me if it's correct and and I thought: Smells like Google translate.

Short: Don't use Google translate if it's not only for your personal understanding.

8

I use it regularly as a 'backup' when reading tweets in Esperanto. It seems to have some problems with compound words, and I wouldn't always trust it with translation into Esperanto. For the other direction it seems good enough.

For translation into Esperanto I tend to have a go myself first, and then get Google to translate it back into English as confirmation. I trust my grammatical abilities more than the machine. For translating single words it seems OK, given the caveat that single word translation is hard due to lack of context.

So, in summary: I would say it gives you a good starting point, but do not trust it blindly.

7

I have a friend who doesn't speak Esperanto, but she tries to include Esperanto in some of her emails to me because she thinks it's cool that I speak it. I always have to mentally translate each word into English to understand what she's saying, because she uses Google Translate, so a sentence like "well, that's pretty cool" gets translated "puto, tio estas bela malvarmeta" or something similar. Google Translate is also known to have a very odd habit of translating the word "Esperanto" as "English", but only sometimes.

For a little fun, type in "esperanton cxiuj parolos!" (without capital "e") and translate to English.

  • Another example: It translates "La hundo manĝas la oston" the same as "La hundon manĝas la osto" - It just translates the words in the order in which they appear. (Also, "Manĝas la hundo la oston" and "La hundo la oston manĝas" are translated with the same word order of the original; likewise, if you put an adjective after a noun). – John B. Lambe Sep 14 '16 at 23:10
2

Sometimes google translator gives the best match. My advice is to use multiple translators and dictionaries and compare the results according to the specific context you are looking for. To mention a few:

2

One interesting exception to the answers already given, sometimes the results are remarkably accurate. I was working with a non-Esperantist on a project and he sent me a text that had been run through Google Translate. I normally would have told him that this really has no benefit, but the translations he sent were grammatically correct and quite poetic (it was a poem that he'd run through.) I was quite surprised.

When I dug into it some more, I found out that the Google Translate results were identical to the original Esperanto version of the poem. He'd received a translation but couldn't find the original. I'm not sure how Google Translate works, but it seems pretty clear that someone had fed both versions into the system - so GT wasn't really translating, but had recognized the poem and spat out the human-written translation that it had been given to learn from.

1

No, Google Translate it's not perfect on nobody language and also in esperanto. I used during the Duolingo courses to understand and also to see if my translation was mainly correct. Also for my first emails written on esperanto I used that service only to check if I was writing right but only an human eye can create a fantastic esperanto.

1

I encounter a lot of grammatical errors. If you use machine translation and grammar check the results, then it is pretty accurate but still not perfect. This is the grammar checker that I use: http://beta.visl.sdu.dk/visl/eo/tools/spelling.php

When a sentence has many clauses, the machine grammar checkers don't do well.

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