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  1. #1
    Guild Artisan su_liam's Avatar
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    Default Google Translate

    So I've been using babelfish for quite some time to create somewhat valid names in languages with latin orthography. Yeah, I sometimes use babelfish for Russian or Greek, but transcription is a pain in the cloaca. Now, I've been using Google Translate(http://translate.google.com), because of it's selection of languages. Indonesian? Sweet! But, I just realized, Google Translate has romanization for a few languages, like Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Greek, Korean and, after a fashion, Thai. Sadly, no romanization for Hebrew or Arabic. Grr. Still, I can drop in the occasional Firefly-Chinese curse, "zh nǐ shēng hu zi yǒu xiē yǒu q de sh di," for instance. Yeah, no Latin either. I'll have to keep my English-Latin/Latin-English dictionary for awhile, I guess.

  2. #2
    Guild Artisan su_liam's Avatar
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    White mountains - bi shān
    Blood river - xu li chng h
    Field of gold - jīn chǎng
    iron palace - tiě gōng
    Emerald City - fěi cu chng
    City of Angels - tiān shǐ zhī chng
    City of Roses - mi guī chng

  3. #3
    Community Leader Gracious Donor mearrin69's Avatar
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    Cool stuff. I posted some other general chinese names in the Cartographic Terminology thread [link]. Honestly never thought of using Babelfish...silly me.
    M

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    Community Leader Facebook Connected torstan's Avatar
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    Yep, I've been using google translate for a bit too. It's really nice and seems to mostly make sense. Better than my previous experience of Babelfish, but that was a while ago now.
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    The Translator may work for several words, but when you try to translate sentences or groups of words (like City of Roses), you shouldn't show the result to a native. Normaly it is a catastrophe.

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    Community Leader Gracious Donor mearrin69's Avatar
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    I'm not a native speaker but I can't see what's wrong with mei gui cheng. I'd have gone with mei gui shi, but it sounds okay to me. What should it have been?
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  7. #7
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    as su_liam mentioned, it is just an example. I have seen several translations from english texts into german texts by the google translator and the results were horrible. Really.
    In the most cases it will translate you single words right (well, in most cases), but groups and sentences often do not make any sence.

  8. #8
    Guild Artisan su_liam's Avatar
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    "Dude! That ain't proper Chinese!"
    "That's okay. D Gu isn't China."

    EDIT:
    I can't speak to the English-to-{$x} translations, 'cause I don't speak {$x}. But the {$x}-to-English translations have been getting progressively better in the last couple of years. I used to only use computer translation to create interesting semi-realistic names for people, places and things, but recently I have actually found translated webpages to lack much of the old "all you base" ambiance. YMMV, but hey...
    Last edited by su_liam; 02-16-2010 at 04:52 PM.

  9. #9
    Guild Artisan su_liam's Avatar
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    I think it was a general comment about reliability. "City" is pretty easy. Probably no worries there. "City of Happy Prancing Ponies Happily Cavorting Through the Streets" Might come out a little odd. BTW, I guess that was, "pǎo mǎ sh yu mǎ xiǎo mǎ lng rn gāo xng de sh zi jiē shng xī no."

    Given that I'm not too fixated on a perfect translation, I would probably make alterations to suit my own aesthetics. Instead of, "xu li chng h," for, "Blood River," I might use, "Xu-Li Chng ," or something. Maybe drop the diacritics.

    Naah! I like my diacritics! Deathtngue, forever!

  10. #10
    Community Leader Gracious Donor mearrin69's Avatar
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    Run "pǎo mǎ sh yu mǎ xiǎo mǎ lng rn gāo xng de sh zi jiē shng xī no" back through the translator. I bet you get "What...?!? Someone set us up the bomb!"

    I fully expect my setting to be full of "all your base"-alikes. My Chinese is very rusty and never was all *that* great to begin with. Maybe sounds okay to us yang guizi though.
    M

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