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Re: Planet of the New Papers

At 9:33 PM +0800 8/21/07, Brandon Pilcher wrote:
>>I think your computer is really "strange" :-) Tyrannosaurus rex is still 
>>Tyrannosaurus rex in French.
>No, it's most likely typical---a typical example of what's wrong with 
>machine-translation software.
>If I recall correctly, tiranosaurio is the informal layperson's word for 
>"tyrannosaur" in Spanish, although I'm sure that Tyrannosaurus rex is still 
>the word used in Spanish scientific publications. It would be interesting to 
>see what a lay word like "tyrannosaur" (as opposed to the scientific binomial) 
>translates to in other languages (or even other scripts, such as Chinese, 
For amusement, I ran "tyrannosaur" through the translation software (Sherlock 
on the Macintosh), and it came through as "tyrannosaur" in French, SPanish, 
Greek and even Russian, but was expressed in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese 
characters when I translated into those languages, which was probably a 

I have used machine translation for serious purposes at times, but it's 
generally pretty bad, although useful for a quick check to see what something 
might mean. It's also fun to run through the spam I sometimes get in Chinese or 
other non-Roman character sets. 
Jeff Hecht, science & technology writer
jeff@jeffhecht.com  http://www.jeffhecht.com
525 Auburn St., Auburndale, MA 02466 USA
v. 617-965-3834; fax 617-332-4760