Google Translations

In the Kanji Chapter 15 test, there are quite a few kanji compounds where the "Google Translation" is either misleading or just plain wrong. The only reason why I noticed these, was because I was looking for an English translation that would help me choose the correct answer (which I haven't had to do before),&nbsp; and instead got these confusing translations.<br><br>Combination&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Answer&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Google Translation&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Examples/Combination<br>東京都&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; ときょうと&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Tokyo&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Tokyo Metropolis<br>都内&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; とない&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Tokyo&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; within Tokyo<br>千葉県&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; ちばけん&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Chiba&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Chiba Prefecture<br>新宿区&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; しんじゅくく&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Shinjuku&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Shinjuku ward<br>渋谷区&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; しぶやく&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Shibuya&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Shibuya ward<br>様&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; さま&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Solo&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; [honorific suffix] Mr., Mrs., Ms.<br>思います&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; おもいます&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; think that<br><br>For those of us who have seen the words before, we know to just ignore the translation. But, for some who are seeing these words for the first time, it will only cause confusion (and I'm willing to bet there are more out there, in other chapters).<br><br>Why aren't the meanings given under "Examples/Combination" used?<br>
posted by jakkii

Comments 5

  • beeant

    I am sorry for this problem,
    I will try to do something about this, as Google translation is not 100%, I may have to remove them in the future and replace it with something else.
    or maybe I can just put a declaimer?

    Replacing it with the meanings under Examples/combination is a good idea, however it is not in our database yet, I will put them in the kanji database ASAP. However, as there are a quite a number of them and I am still working alone, it may take some time. I will do it as fast as I can.

    Do you have any other suggestion?

    Thank You,
    JCJP Admin
  • spanz
    Yes, Google Translation sometimes sucks. And it can be way worse with other languages. I'm pretty sure it translates first to English, and then retranslates from English to the other language.
    At least, this is what it seems to do with Spanish. Anyway, the accuracy in Spanish is lower than in English. In many cases, the second translation doesn't succeed, so the final result is also in English.
    The results aren't always useless because they can be humoristic, but you can't trust them. Any other dictionary should be much more suitable to translate single words (I think this is our case).

    Beeant-dono, if you want to replace Google Translation, you should choose an online dictionary system, not a translation one. I think there are many EDICT based dictionaries out there that can translate single words in a much proper way.

    On the other hand, the Google Trans system is much better (not good, but better) with complete sentences. It seems to take into account some grammar to make translations almost understandable.

    And, of course, for single words you can use Rikaichan with FireFox. If you promote it here along with FireFox, there will be no need to put a translation link.

    Anyway, I feel all this stuff like cheating. Just an idea: If the user clicks the translation help link, he/she must pay for it loosing some EXP.
    I don't know if you can block Rikaichan somehow, so this price system will be likely easy to bypass.

  • beeant
    Yes, I am actually looking for complete EDICT kanji database,
    do you know which one is the best?

    I am sorry for the long response,
    My University has started, I have been busy =(

    Thank You,
    JCJP Admin
  • jakkii

    I can understand that replacing it with something more accurate will take some time, and now that I know you're running this great site all by yourself, I can understand that you don't have much of that ^^

    I think a disclaimer would do fine in the interim. Because, the last thing we want is for someone to use a word thinking it means one thing, and it really means something completely different. That could be really embarrassing lol.

    I also agree with Spanz. The Google Translation is kind of a "hint" and if someone uses it they shouldn't receive full credit for getting the answer right.

    Anyway, thanks for all your had work Beeant. This is a really helpful site.

  • spanz
    Beeant様, I'm not sure what do you mean with "complete EDICT kanji database" and "the best".
    The JMDict/EDICT project is a complete dictionary, not a kanji-only database.
    The project is constantly and permanently updated, so there's no a complete version. The best one is obviously the latest one, so you can get it directly from the source. The project includes also a true kanji database (KANJIDIC).

    Do you want to get a local copy of the dictionary, or do you want to access it online (as you do with Google Trans)?

    If you want a static copy, you can download it.
    For the English project (EDICT):
    For the Multilingual project (JMdict):

    To search online, there's an official online interface (WWWJDIC):

    I don't know if you can automate the online search in your page through that server. In addition, maybe you must ask permission to Jim Breen to use his server this way. There are also unofficial online servers.

    A couple (well, three) of things:
    All the files in these projects are coded in EUC. If this is a problem for you, I'm sure there are unofficial UNICODE or UTF8 versions in the net.

    The words in these files are not inflected (unless there are idioms or very common expressions). For example, searching for verbs in -masu form or past tense won't work. The Rikaichan dictionaries are also EDICT-based, but Rikaichan try to de-inflect the words, so doesn't fail as much as EDICT itself.

    I think your vocabulary is very small (compared to EDICT size) and it contains many inflected and compound words (and some strange ones, too). Perhaps you don't need a real dictionary that can fail with your particular vocabulary.
    Using your own meanings under Examples/combination could be the correct way to give "hints" in practice.
    Well, surely all this is not a priority right now, but if there's something we can do to help, ask!

    Good luck with the Uni!