Test results for comparison of free online translation tools

Attached below are the findings of my comparison of selected free online translation tools, in order that they are listed in a search for ‘online translation’ in Google. See my original article on this topic, here, which comments also on the results below.

The original article:

Im 102-Sekunden-Takt gegen die Schweinegrippe: Jacke aus, Pullover aus. “Wie geht es Ihnen? Haben Sie Vorerkrankungen? Allergien? – Nein?” Desinfizieren, Spritze setzen, danach Pflaster rauf, anziehen, raus, Nächster, bitte. So geht das seit Tagen. “Bis zur Treppe haben die Leute Schlange gestanden”, sagt Akbar Barialai, Allgemeinmediziner in Hamburg-Mümmelmannsberg – gut und gerne 20 Meter. Seine Sprechstundenhilfe hat interessehalber ausgerechnet, wie viel Zeit da pro Patient bleibt: 1,8 Minuten oder eben 102 Sekunden. “Der Ansturm hat selbst die Gesunden krank gemacht”, sagt Barialai.

My translation:

Competing against swine flu in 102 seconds. Jacket off, pullover off. “How are you? Do you have any pre-existing conditions? Allergies? – No?” Disinfectant, injection, then a plaster, get dressed, out the door, “Next please!”. It’s been like that for days. “People have waited in queues back to the stairs” said Akbar Barialai, a general practicioner in Hamburg-Mümmelmannsberg – at least 20 meters. His assistant had interestingly worked out how long each patient remains [on average]: 1.8 minutes, or 102 seconds. “The attack has even made healthy people ill” said Barialai.

It’s not a straight forward passage – includes some potentially tricky words, like “swine flu” and “pre-existing conditions”, has some unusual names in it, and German place names, the opening sentence is not a full sentence, and the last quote, by Akbar Barialai, is a little amibguous (is he suggesting that everyone is a hypochondriac, or does he mean that the flu is really affecting generally healthy people?).

1. Yahoo! Babel Fish (babelfish.yahoo.com)

IN THE 102-Sekunden-Takt against the pig flu: Jacket from, sweaters. “How are you? Do they have Vorerkrankungen? Allergies? – No?” , Syringe up set, afterwards if plasters disinfect, raus, next ones tighten, please. Thus goes for days. “Up to the stairs the people queue confessed”, say Akbar Barialai, general physician in Hamburg Mümmelmannsberg – good and gladly 20 meters. Its consulting hour assistance calculated out of interest, how much time remains there per patient: 1.8 minutes or evenly 102 seconds. “The attack made, says even a recovering ill” Barialai.

Conclusion: #4 – some words not translated, difficult to read in parts, but overall message just about clear. Babel Fish deserves some extra credit for having an excellent name (reference to the small yellow, leach-like fish, in Douglas Adam’s brilliant ‘Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, which could provide instantaneous translation when inserted into the ear, as well as indirect reference to the Tower of Babel, the city where multiple languages were spoken)

2. Free Translation and Professional Translation Services from SDL (www.freetranslation.com)

In the 102-Sekunden-Takt 102-Sekunden-Takt second 102-Sekunden-Takt tact against the swine flu:  Jacket from, pullover from.  “How is it going you?  Do you have before diseases?  Allergy?  – No”?  Disinfect, syringe set, after that pavement up, dress, out, neighbors, please.  So that has gone for days.  “To the stairway have the people snake stood”, says Akbar Barialai, general practitioner in Hamburg Mümmelmannsberg – well and gladly 20 meters.  Its receptionist calculated interest half, remains like much time there per patient:  1.8 minutes or just 102 seconds.  “The onset has even the healthy suffer made”, says Barialai.

Conclusion: #3 – odd beginning, but got “swine flu” right and most words are translated into something in English.

3. Google Translate (translate.google.com)

I N THE 102-second intervals against swine flu: jacket, sweater. “How are you? Have Pre-existing conditions? Allergies? No -?” Disinfect set, syringe, and then patch up, dress, get out, Next, please. And so it goes for days. “Up the stairs to have the people stood in line,” says Akbar Barialai, GP’s in Hamburg Muemmelmannsberg – a good 20 meters. His assistant has personal interest calculated how much time remains as per patient: just 1.8 minutes or 102 seconds. “The onslaught of even healthy people made ill,” says Barialai.

Conclusion: #1 (winner!) – translated all words (except, correctly, for names of people and places); got “swine flu” right, and the difficult opening line.  Coped well with “pre-existing conditions”.  Close to my own translation (which I did do first!).

4. Free Translation Online (translation2.paralink.com)

In the 102-second tact against the pork influenza: Jacket from, pullover from. ” How are you? you Have preillnesses? Allergies? – No? ” Disinfect, syringe put, pull afterwards plaster, pull, out, next one, please. For days thus this goes. ” Up to stair the people queue have stood “, Akbar Barialai, general doctor vouches in Hamburg-Mümmelmannsberg – and with pleasure 20 meters. His speech hours help has worked out interest-half how much time there per patient remains: 1.8 minutes or just 102 seconds. ” The rush has been off sick itself the healthy “, says Barialai.

Conclusion: #7.  Same as PROMT, with same output, but with less appealing graphical user interface.

5. The WordReference Dictionaries (www.wordreference.com)

n/a – only translates words, not whole paragraphs of text.

6. WorldLingo (www.worldlingo.com)

In the 102-Sekunden-Takt against the pig flu: Jacket from, sweaters. “How are you? Do they have Vorerkrankungen? Allergies? – No? A “disinfecting, syringe, tighten afterwards plasters set up, raus, for next ones, please. Thus goes for days. “Up to the stairs the people queue confessed”, say Akbar Barialai, general physician in Hamburg Mümmelmannsberg – good and gladly 20 meters. Its consulting hour assistance calculated out of interest, how much time remains there per patient: 1.8 minutes or evenly 102 seconds. “The attack made, says even a recovering ill” Barialai.

Conclusion: #5. Not bad, but not that great either.  Seems to be uncannily close to Yahoo Babbelfish (do they have some agreement to use each others’ software?? – I couldn’t find any reference to this on either of the two sites …).

7. Babylon (translation.babylon.com)

In 102 seconds against the Schweinegrippe: jacket, sweater. What is ‘you? If you have existing? Allergies? – No?\” disinfecting, syringe, then pavements rauf, dress, rau, next, please. So it goes for days. ‘Up to the stairs, people snake confessed\”, says Akbar Barialai, gps in Hamburg-Mümmelmannsberg – very gladly 20 meters. His nurse has counted the patch up much time as per patient remains: 1,8 minutes or just 102 seconds. ‘The onslaught has even made the healthy ill Barialai\”, says.

Conclusion: #8. (wooden spoon!). Perhaps they don’t want their free translation to be too good (otherwise they might struggle to sell their premium services, which are heavily marketed after initiating a free online translation).  In any case, the above effort is rather poor, and further points lost for making it very difficult to copy and paste the result, and making me do the translation in two goes due to limited space.  Back-slash character included several times unnecessarily. Nevertheless, some mitigating points, like a half-decent effort on Barialai’s quote in the last sentence.

8. PROMT translator (www.online-translator.com)

In the 102-seconds tact against the pork influenza: Jacket from, pullover from. “How are you? you Have preillnesses? Allergies? – No?” Disinfect, syringe put, pull afterwards plaster, pull, out, next one, please. For days thus this goes. “Up to the stair the people queue have stood”, Akbar Barialai, general doctor vouches in Hamburg-Mümmelmannsberg – and with pleasure 20 metres. His speech hour help has worked out interest-half how much time there per patient remains: 1.8 minutes or just 102 seconds. “The rush has been off sick itself the healthy”, says Barialai.

Conclusion: #6. Most words translated, but a few oddities (“tact”, “pleasure 20 meters”, “pork influenza”) and last sentence rather confusing).

9. Dictionary.com Translator, from Ask.com (translate.reference.com)

n/a – Uses Google Translate to power its translation.

10. Reverso Translation (www.reverso.net)

In the 102-seconds tact against the pig flu: jacket from, pullover from. ” How are you? you Have preillnesses? Allergies? – No? ” Disinfect, syringe set, pull afterwards plaster, pull, next, please. So goes since days. ” Up to stair the people snake(queue) have stood “, Akbar Barialai, general physician vouches in Hamburg Mümmelmannsberg – and gladly 20 meters. His(its) doctor’s assistant has calculated out of interest, how many time there per patient remains: 1.8 minutes or just 102 seconds. ” The attack has malingered itself the healthy “, says Barialai.

Conclusion: #2. Not a bad effort – some alternative words in brackets, where there was ambiguity.

Advertisements

10 Responses

  1. […] The winner, based on my qualitative assessment, was Google Translate – did you expect anything else?! (see my summary comments why, and the results of the test, here). […]

  2. Hi, I’m afraid you’ve left out what is probably one of the best systems out there: Microsoft’s Translator (aka Bing Translator). How does it compare to the others in your opinion?

    • Good spot. My selection, in order to reduce the test to a sensible number of sites to test, was based on the “top 10” results in Google, when searching for “online translation” and Bing Translator / Microsoft Translator didn’t appear in that list (!).

      As I pointed out in the original post, there were some 30+ million search results, but having run the search again, I note that Bing Translator / Microsoft Translator doesn’t appear in the top 50 results either (in fact, it may not even appear at all …).

      Interestingly, Google Translator occupies places 7 and 10 when searching for “online translation” in Bing (Bing Translator occupies the top spot, but actually appears fourth, since three slots are taken by sponsored search results.

      I will comment on Bing Translator separately later.

  3. […] commentator on my Blog recently pointed out that my post on universal language translation, and the test results of various online language translators failed to cover Bing (Microsoft) Translator – a huge […]

  4. […] I’ve commented on Google Translate in past posts (they were the winner of my mini-test, ‘Test results for comparison of free online translation tools‘). […]

  5. Hi, I’ve been testing Bing and Google on this nowadays (one year and a half after you posted this article). I have to say both have made some progress, specially Bing (Google also got better but curiously enough it’s gotten worse on the first two sentences).

    Here’s Google’s output on December 2011:
    A jacket, sweater: I m 102-second intervals against swine flu. “How do you feel you have allergies, previous illnesses -? No” Set disinfect syringe, then tighten up pavement, out, next, please. And so it goes for days. “Up the stairs, the people waited in line,” says Akbar Barialai, GP’s in Hamburg Mümmelmannsberg – good and like 20 meters. His assistant was out of interest calculated how much time remains as per patient: 1.8 minutes, or just 102 seconds. “The rush has made even the healthy sick,” says Barialai.

    And here’s Bing’s:
    Im 102-seconds intervals against the swine flu: Jacket, pullover out. “How are you?” Do you have pre-existing medical conditions? Allergies? “-No?” Disinfected, syringe set, then patch up, pull out, next, please. So, that goes for days. “Up the stairs people have confessed snake” says Akbar Barialai, general practitioner in Hamburg Fcb_39 man mountain well and like to 20 meters. His receptionist interest calculated how much time remains as per patient: 1.8 minutes or just 102 seconds. “The rush has made sick even the healthy,” says Barialai.

    • Nice one! I understand that Google Translate ‘learns’ from previous translations, in particular from users that ‘correct’ the automated translations. How well this works is difficult to tell, but your renewed translations help give an idea (although the algorithms might have been changed in the meantime also).

  6. Yeah, the ‘contribute your own translation’ thing seemed like a cool feature to me too. In fact I wanted to see it in action and made a test on it a couple of years ago, and submitted a corrected version for a couple of wrong phrases. Two years later Google Translate keeps on offering the same wrong output :-/

  7. […] Test results for comparison of free online translation tools (November 2009) […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: