Friday, March 03, 2006

Using Google to Validate Translations

CBCnews has an interesting article ("Translation, by the numbers") on how to use the relative frequency of terms in Google to validate translations.

What the author describes is akin to the technique of looking for SL [common name] + "scientific name" in order to find the Latin name for a species (which then can help finding the TL common name for that species), but with the added twist of using the relative frequency of the candidate translations to decide which are valid and which not.

This is a useful technique for translators, and I am sure many of use use variations of it. My only quarrel with the article is that the author describes it as something non-translators should use in order to avoid translation howlers... and I'm not at all sure of the wisdom of bypassing professional translators in these instances.

Hat tip to Translation Notes, where I first found a link to the CBC article.

1 comment:

  1. I've been using that technique for a while now. Used with extreme caution of course, it can be quite useful!


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