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Jan102010

Google Translation Service ‘Case Sensitive’

Google Translate shows radically different results when you change the punctuation or the case of a text. Jim Regan explain this behavior: “Google uses statistical machine translation, so algorithms have little to do with it – translation is created by matching all translations available for different parts of the sentence, and then ranked against an n-gram language model of the target language to see how likely its that those particular phrases go together, to assemble the translation. As case can be significant – acronyms are usually all upper case, proper names use an initial capital, etc. – it makes sense that it affects the translation.” Here’s an example text:

[Spanish] tu hija que te quiso tanto y no supo demostrarlo – perdoname.
[English] your daughter that you loved so much and she could not prove it – pardon me.

[Spanish] Tu hija que te quiso tanto y no supo demostrarlo – perdoname.
[English] Your daughter who loved you so much and failed to prove it – pardon me.

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