Google Translate Chinese: Passionate Mainframes



Google Translate claims that it has made significant strides. A couple of Sinologists I know tested it for Chinese to English, and declared it wanting. I figured I’d round out the picture, and test it the other way around.


Admittedly this is a short list. Give me a reason to make it longer next time, Google.


Save the date

Google translation: Expiration date. (保存日期 )

Human translation: 标记日历


Airbnb) Passionate and dedicated hosts

Google translation: Filled with passion and dedicated mainframes (充满激情和专用主机 )

Human translation: 热忱尽心的房东


(Paradise Lost) Evil, come be my good

Google translation: ungrammatical; the closest English gibberish may be: “Evil, good what is come belongs to me.” (邪恶,来是我的好。)

Human translation: Evil, come be my good (恶呀,你来做我的善吧。)


This last flourish of genius was quoted by the rediscovered writer Mu Xin (木心),  a recent cult phenomenon among the liberal educated young in China. Not sure if the rendition originated with him, or whether some Republican-era translator supplied it.

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