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4,787 views Apr 29, 2010
Translating "in the Clouds"
I just finished translating a novel entirely on Google Translate, all 350 pages of it.   I don't know if I am the first person to do so, but I am certain I won't be the last.
 
To translate with Google Translate, you'll need an electronic document, and that can be very difficult to obtain if you are working on a novel, as you don't see electronic copies of novels circulating as that would raise concerns of piracy.  So in order to get an electronic copy, I purchased a Kindle version of the book from Amazon, I downloaded the Kindle App both to my iPod and my computer on the Windows side.   When Amazon finally released Kindle App for Mac, I became one of the first to download that as well, therefore I got Amazon Kindle application everywhere.  The beauty about the Kindle App is that your reading progress is synched with their WhisperSync functionality.  Therefore no matter which device you use, your book will be turned to the same page through this automatic synching process.
 
Then I did something slightly crazy:  I did a screen capture of every page on the Kindle reader (zoomed to the appropriate size so that a scanning software can decipher it with not too many errors).   Then I used a scanning software to scan the captured screenshots into text.  Then I edited it into readable text, spell-checked and all that.  Then I saved it as  a text file, and uploaded it to Google Translate.  Then I bought myself a cup of coffee at Starbucks and I sighed a long sigh and I started to toil away.
 
This process had been going on for quite a while, and then I requested an electronic copy from the publisher, and I was given one, in PDF format.  It is still not possible to import it directly into Google Translate, so I copied and pasted the text into a Word file, removed all the line breaks and unnecessary spaces and any other weirdo symbols and signs, and then saved it as a Text file, which I then upload it to Google Translate.  Then coffee, sigh, translation.
 
Undoubtedly, preparing a document for translation takes tons of time.  Yet translation is a thought-intensive process.  I don't mind doing some drudge along the way just to take the mind off for a while.   Just remember, removing line breaks from text files is a good theraphy for a stressed-out translator.
 
There are quite a number of advantages of using Google Translate to translate:
 
1.  The original text and the translated text are laid out alongside each other.  It is really easy to find corresponding sentences.  Google takes you sentence by sentence through the translation, with the original text in yellow highlights and the target one in a pop-up window.  Translation of a particular sentence follows that particular sentence like a shadow.  Finding things in the two languages become tremendously easy.   I really enjoyed that. 
 
2. Psychologically, zooming in a book to a sentence creates an illusion (which is necessary) you are translating one sentence at a time.  It somehow reduces the stress of translation for me.  At my age, stress in life is a big deal.  Job, kids, wife, lawn, you name it.   I'd like to do anything to reduce it.  So chunking a book into smaller units helped, or so it seemed.
 
3.  It is pretty easy to make things consistent.  For instance, you want to check how you translated a particular term in some earlier passage and you don't remember where it is.   Google Translate can help you to find the original term and then the corresponding translation.  With older methods, it is very tough to find every occurrence of the same word or phrase AND the translation you used each time.  Google Translate made that possible.
 
4. Google Translate actually suggests translation for you using its automatic translation tool.  Most of such suggestions are useless for literary translation, but this is especially helpful for place and people names. Translating such into Chinese is such a drudge that it served as the chief motivator for me to consider using the application in the first place.  
 
5. Google Translate can probably reduce some unnecessary distraction as it brings dictionary, glossary, source text and target text all in one frame.   Often you do not need to go to other places online or in your computer to find what you need, and get sidetracked while doing so.  
 
6.  Google Translate liberates you from being stuck with a book.  As all your data is stored in the "cloud", you can take a laptop and work anywhere you want, as long as there is a computer and internet connection.  I often drive to work in my "third place", the Starbucks,  away from distractions of work or home.  But of course, whatever little money I made in translation I spent on gas for my car and coffee for brain.  Google Translate should claim responsibility for this kind of excesses.
 
7. Google Translate actually suggests translation of some phrases or words for you.  Most of the times I end up not using them, but sometimes it does get something right.    And it is pretty funny how Google sometimes overdo it.  I once found: Hey, Bo!  And Google Translate renders it into:  你好,薄熙来!
 
Here are the parts I don't like about Google Translate:  (I hope someone can tell me how to contact Google to report such problems.  Well, never mind, I'll google them out.)
 
1.  You cannot actually edit the source text once imported for translation, which often makes it useless as many text files contain symbols that need to be edited into meaningful words or punctuation.
 
2.  Glossary is a great concept and that's the reason I came to use Google Translate (place and people names especially), however, the Google Translate glossary function is next to useless.  It does not actually replace words or phrases for you even if you use the glossary.  It just highlights words and shows you what the translation is according to your glossary.  You still have to copy and paste the words or phrases into your translation every single freaking time.    
 
3.  You cannot add to the glossary on the fly.  You have to prepare a glossary ahead of time using Excel or Google Doc and import it.  Seriously, how many people in the world really work like that?  A really useful glossary tool should allow you to add entries as you work.   That would make worlds of differences for translators.
 
4. Google Translate does not handle certain punctuation very well.  For instance, it often changes apostrophes to question marks.   To make things worse, when you import it, Google Translate treats a qestion mark as the end of a sentence. So you have sentences like "I?" when you intend to import, say,  "I'll go there."  That chopped up normal sentences forward, backward and sideway and makes the translation difficult to revise.  The problem is less obvious when translating from Chinese to English.
 
Would I use the application again? 
 
It depends.  I will definitely use Google Translate for commercial translations or anything that has a lot of repetition or jargon in it.  Its memory function really helps.  But I probably will hesitate in using it for literary translation unless Google does something about the glossary.  
 
It is also helpful to translate bad writing with Google Translate, such as writings full of business jargons that MBAs, and consultants use.   Google Translate is especially good with empty talk and stupid nonsense.  Machine translation of course produces some nonsense of its own kind, but I call that dynamic equivalence.   Try it with the worst writing you found, and you might be pleasantly surprised  that Google Translate might even make the writing better than it actually is.   
 
Just give that to your boss and you can keep the change.
 
To prove what Google Translation does, here is the translation of this post from Google Translate.  I didn't change a single word of it: 
我刚刚完成翻译完全谷歌翻译,全部350页的小说。我不知道我是第一个人这样做,但我可以肯定我不会是最后一次。

翻译与谷歌翻译,你需要一个电子文件,而且可以是非常困难的,如果你获得一个新的工作,因为你看不到的,因为这样会提高循环小说的盗版concerns电子copies。因此,为了得到一个电子版本,我买了书,从亚马逊点燃版本,我下载了应用程序都点燃我和我的iPod在Windows端计算机。当亚马逊终于推出了Mac点燃应用,我成为第一个下载软件,以及一,所以我得到了亚马逊点燃的应用无处不在。有关该应用程序的妙处在于,点燃你的阅读的进展是与他们的WhisperSync功能同步。因此,没有哪个设备使用,你的书将被拒绝通过自动同步过程中对同一页的问题。

然后我做了一件稍微疯狂:我做了每一个读者的点燃缩放到适当大小,以便扫描软件可以破译与它没有太多的错误(页屏幕捕获)。然后我用扫描软件扫描到文本捕获的屏幕截图。然后,我剪辑成可读的文本中,拼写检查和一切。然后我保存为一个文本文件,并将其上传到谷歌翻译。然后我买了自己在星巴克喝杯咖啡,我叹了口气很长的叹息,我开始打拼。

这个过程已经持续了相当一段时间,然后我请一个从发布的电子副本,我得到了一,PDF格式。现在仍无法导入到谷歌翻译,直接,所以我复制并粘贴到一个Word文件中的文本,删除了所有不必要的换行和空格和任何其他怪物的象征和标志,然后保存为一个文本文件,然后我把它上传到谷歌翻译。然后,咖啡,叹息,翻译。

毫无疑问,准备翻译的文件需要的时间吨。然而,翻译是一个智力密集的过程。我不介意做只是为了前进的道路上采取了一段时间的心灵了一些做苦工。只要记住,删除从文本文件换行符是一个强调出翻译好的功能性。

有不少使用谷歌翻译翻译许多优点:

1。原始文本和翻译文本是一起奠定了对方。这是很容易找到相应的句子。谷歌带你通过一句一句的翻译与原文中的黄色,突出和在弹出式窗口的目标之一。某一句子翻译如下特别像一个影子判刑。在这两种语言寻找事情变得非常容易。我真的很享受的。

2。在心理上,在书放大到一个句子创建一个虚假的幻想(这是必要的),你是翻译一次一个句子。这多少减少了我对翻译的压力。在我这个年龄,生活压力是一个大问题。工作,孩子,妻子,草坪,你的名字。我希望做任何事情去降低它。因此,分块一书成更小的单位帮助,或者看起来如此。

3。这是很容易让事情保持一致。例如,你要检查你翻译的一些早期通过一个特定的术语,你不记得它在哪里。谷歌翻译可以帮你找到原来的字词,然后相应的翻译。与旧的方法,它是非常艰难的寻找每一个相同的单词或短句,翻译你每次使用的发生。谷歌翻译了可能。

4。谷歌翻译实际上建议你使用它的自动翻译工具翻译。这些建议大部分是文学翻译无用的,但这是地方和人民,特别是有帮助的名字。这种翻译成中文是这样的苦力,它作为我的主要动力,考虑使用服务摆在首位的应用。

5。谷歌翻译大概可以减少一些不必要的分心,因为它带来了字典,词汇,源文本和目标文本都在同一个框架。通常你并不需要去其他地方或在您的计算机网上找到你需要什么,并获得撇在一边,而这样做。

6。谷歌翻译解放被卡住了你的书。由于所有的数据是在“云存储”,你可以采取一个笔记本电脑和你想要的任何地方工作,只要有一台电脑和互联网连接。我经常开车上下班在我的“第三地”,星巴克,远离工作或家庭的干扰。但当然,无论我在翻译的一点钱了我对天然气花费了我的车,脑咖啡。谷歌翻译应要求对这种暴行一种责任。

7。谷歌翻译实际上建议一些短语或你语言的翻译。我的时代结束了,大部分没有使用他们,但有时它得到的东西的权利。它是相当有趣的谷歌如何有时过度。有一次,我发现:嘿,波!和谷歌翻译使得它分为:你好,薄熙来!

以下是部分我不喜欢谷歌翻译:(我希望有人能告诉我如何联系谷歌报告等问题。嗯,没关系,我会谷歌出来。)

1。你可以不实际的源文本编辑一次翻译,这往往使许多无用的文本文件包含符号需要被转换成有意义的文字或标点符号编辑进口。

2。术语表是一个伟大的概念,这就是我之所以来使用谷歌翻译(尤其是地方和人的名字),但是,谷歌翻译词汇功能旁边是没有用的。实际上它并不取代你的词或短语,即使您使用的词汇。它只是突出的话,并告诉您什么是根据你的翻译词汇。您还必须复制并粘贴到您的翻译的词或短语每一个再用时间。

3。您不能增加对飞行词汇。你必须准备一个词汇提前使用Excel或谷歌文档和导入它。严重的是,如何在世界上许多人真的这样做呢?一个真正有用的术语表工具应允许您添加条目,你的工作。这将使世界对翻译的差异。 4。谷歌翻译不能很好地处理某些标点符号。例如,它经常改变撇号为问号。更糟糕的是,当你导入它,谷歌翻译视为一个句子结束qestion标志。所以,你有喜欢的句子:“我?”当您打算进口,说:“我会去那里。”这切碎了一般的句子向前,向后和侧向,使翻译难以修改。问题是那么明显,从中国翻译成英文。

我会再次使用该应用程序?

这取决于。我一定会用商业翻译或有任何重复或术语也很多谷歌翻译。它的记忆功能确实有帮助。不过,我可能会毫不犹豫地使用它,除非为文学翻译谷歌确实对一些词汇。

这也有利于翻译著作等业务术语的MBA学生,充分利用和顾问与谷歌翻译,坏写作。谷歌翻译,尤其是空话,废话和愚蠢良好。机器翻译的过程中产生的一些自己的一种无稽之谈,但我认为这种动态对等。试着用最糟糕的写作你发现它,你可能会惊喜,谷歌翻译,甚至可能使写作比它实际上是。

只要把那东西给你的老板,你可以不用找了。
 


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