User:MacMania/UnNews:French newspaper uses machine translation to produce multi-lingual website

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Above: a example of the articles which are translated by Systran, on the site of La Tribune.

7 August 2009

PARIS, FRANCE—A eminent French newspaper, La Tribune, launches a polyglot version of its web site. However, nobody will translate the articles. To do that, the writers of the site will use a version of “Systran”, a service used for the automatic translation.

The results, of course, are often comic.

“Does a vaccine in September seize up a:? ” request a title of an article about a vaccine against the porcine influenza. Do other titles understand “Which animal to incarnate Europe? Deliver your opinion”, “15 million euros of assistance for the fruit producers and vegetables”, and “PSA Peugeot Citroen degraded by S & P in 'junk'”.

Other parts of the articles are also odd. The text of the articles is also translated diverting way. The subtitle for an article about the possibility of an emblematic animal for all Europe, for example, is “The Americans have their eagle, the Russians their bear and the Chinese their panda. And the Eu  ? Friendly Net surfers, deliver also your opinion! ”. That the subtitle describes the Net surfers as “friendly” is not the oddest trick. Here an extract of the text of the article:

Cquote1.png Some are risked there nevertheless. Recently, to accompany an item on the European answer vis-a-vis the financial crisis, New York Times chose the photograph of a bronze bull. Did that have to charm the Spanishs, but all the Eu were recognized in this representation  ? The Americans understood well that one spoke about Europe and not about Wall Street, right in the middle of whom moos celebrates it statue “bullish”… Cquote2.png

La Tribune, which has a reputation of a very serious newspaper, is the second newspaper in France. Although this project can carry reached to this reputation, the directors are certain that there will be success.

According to a director, the objective is “to be able to propose all the economic topicality in various languages to touch a new public on Internet”. Although she admits that “It is really in experimental phase for the moment”, she also thinks that the software is gradually improved and should make it possible to arrive to an “almost perfect” result during launching.

Among other current events, there is the news which the web site of the BBC will be translated into American English by a special software. A director at the BBC said that “we realized with the BBC that there is less of accessibility of our web site for the Americans, because we use the British English. The automatic translation is a really astonishing idea. ”

Moreover, the articles of the web site “Uncyclopedia” will be written initially in French and then translated into English, because that would be more amusing. “The automatic translation, it is really a gift of the sky for us”, a Net surfer commented on there, before going to invent a quotation of Oscar Wilde.