Further accuracy testing of Google Translate for Esperanto

Saturday, February 25, 2012

With more time to write today, let's take a more detailed look at the translation quality given by Google Translate from Esperanto to English and vice versa. As noted yesterday (and in other places besides here), the accuracy of translation is surprisingly good for the small corpus used...and that is no surprise to anyone that has learned an IAL before.

So what's the best way to test out the accuracy? Instead of coming up with sentences on my own, using those available on Tatoeba.org seems to be a good idea. My Esperanto is not fluent but I'll see what I can ascertain from these.

For example, example sentences from English to Esperanto containing the word 'with' (chosen randomly). Using some relatively short ones:

Correct sentences from Tatoeba:

He will come with his wife, as is often the case with foreigners.
Li venos kun sia edzino, kiel ofte okazas ĉe eksterlandanoj.

And now using Google Translate:

Li venos kun sia edzino, kiel ofte okazas ĉe eksterlandanoj.
becomes
He will come with his wife, as often happens with foreigners.


No problem there.


He will come with his wife, as is often the case with foreigners.
becomes
Li venos kun lia edzino, kiel estas ofte la kazo kun eksterlandanoj.

Uh oh, the latter means he's coming with someone else's wife...

Next sentence:

Write with a pen, not with a pencil.
Skribu plume, ne krajone.
Skribu per plumo, ne per krajono.

Now Google Translate:

Write with a pen, not with a pencil.
becomes
Skribu per plumo, ne kun krajono.


per is probably better here.


Skribu plume, ne krajone.
becomes
Write plume, not pencil.


-e seems to be a problem for Google.


Skribu per plumo, ne per krajono.
becomes
Write with a pen, not with a pencil.

No problem here.


Next sentence:

Companions with the same aim, to carve out their own future, cooperate with each other.
Kamaradoj kun la sama celo, konstrui sian propran estontecon, kunlaboras unu kun la alia.

With Google Translate:

Companions with the same aim, to carve out their own future, cooperate with each other
becomes
Kompanoj kun la sama celo, skulpti sian propran estontecon, kunlabori kun aliaj.


I think this one's okay, not certain though.

Kamaradoj kun la sama celo, konstrui sian propran estontecon, kunlaboras unu kun la alia.
becomes
Comrades with the same goal, to build their own future, cooperate with one another.

Fine.


Next sentence:

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.

Mi ne scias, per kiuj armiloj estos farata la tria mondmilito, sed je la kvara ili estos bastonoj kaj ŝtonoj.

Google Translate:

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. 
becomes
Mi ne scias, per kio armiloj Tria Mondmilito estos batalis, sed Mondmilito IV estos batalis per bastonoj kaj ŝtonoj.


Estos batalis is weird. Estos batalata I think would be correct. It did use per instead of kun here though.

Mi ne scias, per kiuj armiloj estos farata la tria mondmilito, sed je la kvara ili estos bastonoj kaj ŝtonoj. 
becomes
I do not know with which weapons will be made ​​on the third world war, but on the fourth they will be sticks and stones.

A correct but overly literal version would be "with which weapons the third world war will be done".

Next sentence:

I usually prefer to pay with credit card and not with cash.
Kutime mi preferas pagi kreditkarte ol kontante.

Google Translate:

I usually prefer to pay with credit card and not with cash.
becomes
Mi kutime preferas pagi per kreditkarto kaj ne kun mono.

Can't seem to decide whether it wants to use per or kun here.

Kutime mi preferas pagi kreditkarte ol kontante. 
becomes
Normally I prefer to pay kreditkarte than cash.

Another problem with understanding nouns turned into adjectives.

Next sentence:

You're so impatient with me.
Vi estas tiel senpacienca je mi.

Google Translate:

You're so impatient with me. 
becomes
Vi estas tiel senpacienca kun mi.

I think this one is correct.

Vi estas tiel senpacienca je mi.
becomes
You are so impatient on me.

Slightly incorrect, not a huge deal.


Next sentence:

I don't have anyone who'd travel with me.
Estas neniu, kiu volas vojaĝi kun mi.
Mi havas neniun, kiu vojaĝos kun mi.

Google Translate:

I don't have anyone who'd travel with me. 
becomes
Mi ne havas iu ajn kiu volas vojaĝi kun mi.

I think this one is okay.

Estas neniu, kiu volas vojaĝi kun mi. 
becomes
There is no one who wants to travel with me.

Fine.

Mi havas neniun, kiu vojaĝos kun mi. 
becomes
I have no one, who will travel with me.

Also fine.

Last sentence:

How did you come up with this crazy idea?
Kiel vi ekhavis tiun frenezan ideon?

Google Translate:

How did you come up with this crazy idea? 
becomes
Kiel oni elpensis tiun frenezan ideon?

You turns to oni here! Certainly a result of the mixed usage of one and you in English (one cannot simply walk into Mordor = you cannot simply walk into Mordor)

Kiel vi ekhavis tiun frenezan ideon? 
becomes
How you got this crazy idea?

Fine.

As far as automatic translation goes, this is probably about 7 to 8 out of 10.

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