This paper presents an overview of websites that parody real online machine translation (MT) services, as their sole purpose is to amuse users by offering fun translations without any practical use beyond their entertainment value. The websites considered here are designed to accept input in standard English, and can be broadly grouped into two main categories: the “impersonation” websites translate into sociolects strongly associated with certain groups of speakers, local dialects or non-standard accents, invented languages like Pig Latin or the alleged speaking style of eccentric celebrities and funny fictional characters; the “Chinese whispers” websites, on the other hand, translate the input from English into one or more target language(s), and then back again into English, with each stage of the process increasing the distortion in both form and meaning between the final resulting output and the original source text. The paper looks at some of the key linguistic and design issues behind the implementation of these fun translation websites, and concludes discussing their impact on the reputation of Internet-based MT tools, considering how they might affect users’ trust in real online MT services.

Look Who's Translating: Impersonations, Chinese Whispers and Fun with Machine Translation on the Internet

Gaspari F
2006

Abstract

This paper presents an overview of websites that parody real online machine translation (MT) services, as their sole purpose is to amuse users by offering fun translations without any practical use beyond their entertainment value. The websites considered here are designed to accept input in standard English, and can be broadly grouped into two main categories: the “impersonation” websites translate into sociolects strongly associated with certain groups of speakers, local dialects or non-standard accents, invented languages like Pig Latin or the alleged speaking style of eccentric celebrities and funny fictional characters; the “Chinese whispers” websites, on the other hand, translate the input from English into one or more target language(s), and then back again into English, with each stage of the process increasing the distortion in both form and meaning between the final resulting output and the original source text. The paper looks at some of the key linguistic and design issues behind the implementation of these fun translation websites, and concludes discussing their impact on the reputation of Internet-based MT tools, considering how they might affect users’ trust in real online MT services.
82-7368-294-3
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/894235
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