Douwe Osinga's Blog: New project: Poetry in Translation

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

There was this story about one of the first translation programs that translated from and to russian. After a return trip, the sentence 'the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak' read 'the wodka is ok, but the meat stinks.' Computer aided translation is still not quite there and Poetry in Translation is a point in case. Here I use Google to translate a sentence from English into German, then into French and then back into English again. Results vary from perfectly understandable to rubbish, with sometimes funny inbetween.