Archive for the ‘Translating’ Category

Translating a Book Could Cost you your Life

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

(Kabul, Afghanistan) Six men have been imprisoned for their part in translating the Quran into one of the languages spoken in Afghanistan. They are accused of modifying and trying to supplant the original Arabic version of the Quran, Islam’s holy book. The men will go on trial on Sunday.

The translation was made in an attempt to help Afghans who don’t speak Arabic, but has caused an outcry among Muslims who insist that the original Arabic verses should have appeared alongside the translated version.

Afgahnistan has no laws against translating the Quran, but Zalmai is accused of translating the book in violation of Islamic Shariah law.

Ahmad Ghaws Zalmai, who printed the translation, was arrested as he tried to flee to Pakistan, and now faces a death sentence.

Translators have commented that a translation becomes a separate, but related text and does not replace or challenge the veracity of the original.


Google Translating Robot

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Google Talk Google just began offering instant machine translations for Google Talk and Gmail.

You can access the new service from within Google Talk, the chat window in Gmail or any IM client that supports the Jabber protocol. To use the service, add these addresses as friends for English to Spanish translations, or for Spanish to English translations.

Google Talk Translating Robot

You can also add the robot to a group chat and let it translate between the two of you on the fly. Here is a complete list of languages and their codes that are available.

The translations are far from perfect, as you can see from the following dialog.

David: How good are translations when you use machine translation software?
en2es: ¿Cómo son buenas traducciones cuando utilice programas de traducción automática?

The translation probably should have been something like this: ¿Qué tan buenas son las traducciones cuando usas programas de traducción automática?

When translating from Spanish to English, you need to use all the correct punctuation marks and diacriticals to help it guess the right meaning.

David: Buenos dias como estas?
es2en: Hello like this?
David: Buenos días, ¿cómo estás?
es2en: Good morning, how are you?

On Translating Websites into Spanish and Planning Meetings on Diarised

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

I’ve done lots of translating and never blogged about it, but I just recently finished a translation for a fairly new website that’s so cool I’ve got to tell you all about it.


Although I may not be sure what the name Diarised means, besides having something to do with “diary”, I do know the service they offer sure looks promising. When I first saw it, I immediately realized how helpful it would be.

What you can do over there is you take a meeting you need to set up, name it, select a bunch of possible dates/times for the meeting and input the names and email addresses of all the people you want to attend the meeting. That’s basically it. The website sends out emails where each person picks the time/date the suits them the best. You can then see what everybody picked and confirm the time the suits the majority. It’s really pretty slick and you can do all that without even signing up for anything.

But probably the coolest feature is the Spanish translation. 🙂 I hope you like it.