27 March 2008 - 22:02Silly Google Language Test
I don’t yet have a useful idea for a Google Language project, but the little script at the bottom of this post is me playing with their translation API.
My fundamental theory is that translating text from English to another language and then back provides a good test of your translation engine. This script does that, over and over, cycling through most of the languages that Google knows. If you uncheck one of the languages, it’s excluded from the cycle.
I have not yet found the limits of this script’s power. For one thing, now we know that if you translate the phrase “I’m pretty sure that you can’t do that on television.” through Arabic, Chinese, and Dutch all the way through Spanish, twice, you get the phrase “This is my body.”
Now I’m going to use the script to tell the future: If you give Google Language the phrase “Will Obama, Clinton, or McCain be the next President of the United States?” you get (after a lot of iterations) the result “The United States, Britain, the next president of the United States, President Clinton, Obama jonmakein mentioned?” That’s pretty clear.
The script can settle an ongoing dispute with my wife: Starting with “Is the ‘guy with an orange for a head’ joke funny?” results in “‘Orange is the President of the United States of America,’ Fortunately, there are several of them?” So…yeah. Pretty damn funny. Thanks, Google.
Finally, I will use this script to turn conflict into art: Starting with “Can you get a cold from being too cold? Faye doesn’t think so.” results in this haunting haiku:
In such cases, the
use of refrigerants. Flu?
I do not think so.
| Tags: Geekery