Thursday, 24 November 2016

Shitloads and zingers: on the perils of machine translation

Shitloads and zingers: on the perils of machine translation

Years ago, on a flight from Amsterdam to Boston, two American nuns seated to my right listened to a voluble young Dutchman who was out to discover the United States. He asked the nuns where they were from. Alas, Framingham, Massachusetts was not on his itinerary, but, he noted, he had ‘shitloads of time and would be visiting shitloads of other places’. The jovial young Dutchman had apparently gathered that ‘shitloads’ was a colourful synonym for the bland ‘lots’. He had mastered the syntax of English and a rather extensive vocabulary but lacked experience of the appropriateness of words to social contexts. By Arthur Goldhammer. .

Continue reading...

No comments:

Post a comment