Comparing online translators: Which one do you prefer?

Both  Microsoft and Google provide online translators for web pages. With a little bit of coding, they could also be integrated into any other web sites.   I have also incorporated them into my dictionary application.  The Google translator seems slightly better, as it has more up-to-date terms. I use both translators extensively for quick and convenient translation from Chinese to English, sometime finding the Microsoft translation as being better, and vice-versa. 

Overall though, they are still not that satisfying as considerable effort is still required to understand the meanings of the texts.  The following example illustrates the situation:

Original (written by Sima Nan):


Microsoft Translator:

In our alternative energy has not achieved a major breakthrough, rely on non-renewable petroleum and natural gas, we all do car dream started car, Earth squeamish. Henan fellow told a joke: we the Chinese Yam well, men need to eat, the woman would not stand; a woman to eat, you can’t stand the men; men and women eat, bed stand. Ask him such a good variety of Chinese Yam, why not? “he said, Ah, Ah, can not stand.

Google translator: 

In our alternative energy is not a major breakthrough before the non-renewable oil and gas alone, we all do dream car, have opened the car, the earth certainly can not stand. Henan villagers talked about the joke: our yam Well, the men eat, the woman can not stand; woman eat, the men can not stand; men and women eat, bed stand. Asked him such a good yam, why not a variety of it? He said, ah, to stand ah.

Translated by K Chew (with help of Zicsoft Learn Chinese Dictionary 2):

There has no been any major breakthrough on alternative energy source to break reliance on non-renewable petroleum and natural gas. All of us still have the dream of driving our own cars. There is a Henan villagers joke that goes like this: This mountain herb is really good. Men should eat it, as women will be unable to withstand it. Women should eat it too, as men will not be able to endure it. When woman and man eat it, the bed will not be able to withstand.  If this is so good, why not grow more? Well, ah… the land cannot take it.


About kchew

an occasional culturalist
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