comparing free internet translations

Sometimes when I am composing emails in Portuguese, I find it easier to use an on-line translator and then fix the translation.  I did a comparison across three free translators: the Dictionary.com Translator, Yahoo! Babel Fish, and the Google Translator.  Then I went through them with my Portuguese teacher (from São Paulo).  The results are below.

 

Two take-aways: Google was the best by far (surprise, surprise), but none was perfect and so revising the translation is still essential.

 

 

 

The challenge:

 

 

Hi friend,

 

I’m filling in the blanks on the agenda for the conference. Can you tell me the names / positions of the two people you mentioned that would be coming from Mexico?

 

Thanks so much,

Magic Man

Dictionary.com Translator (the only one with an option for Portugal vs Brazil Portuguese):

 

Olá! [my professor says Brazilians don’t say Olá, but I know at least one Brazilian who does, so…] amigo,

 

Eu estou enchendo-me [“getting annoyed” preenchendo] nos espaços em branco na agenda para a conferência. Pode você dizer-me [too literal! Você pode me dizer] os nomes/posições dos dois povos [das duas pessoas] que você mencionou que estariam vindo de México?

 

Agradecimentos tanto,

Homem mágico

 

Yahoo! Babel fish:

 

Olá! [as above] amigo,

 

I’ m que [beautiful Portuguese!] enche-se [as above] nos espaços em branco na agenda para a conferência. Pode você dizer-me [as above] os nomes/posições dos dois povos [as above] que você mencionou que estariam vindo de México?

 

Agradecimentos tanto,

Homem mágico

 

Google translator:

 

Oi amigo,

 

Estou preenchendo os espaços em branco na agenda da conferência. Pode me dizer os nomes / posições das duas pessoas que você mencionou que seriam provenientes [“that would be from Mexico” estariam vindo] do México?

 

Muito obrigada,

Magic Man

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4 thoughts on “comparing free internet translations”

  1. Hi, (sorry, but I did not see your name).

    So, first of all, my English Language is not that good, sorry. But I’ll try to write something to you about your text.

    Well, I’m a Brazilian guy living in San Antonio, Texas, USA and because that I’m sure that we say “Olá”. Yes! A lot of times people say “Olá” because it’s not too formal and the same time it’s very nice and friendly. Other point is about “Você pode mi dizer”. There is no “mi” in Portuguese Language. ‘Me” is the correct way. Actually, we pronounce “mi”, but the correct way to write is “me”. On that phrase, should written “Você poderia me dizer”.

    Well, I hope that it’s been helpful. If you want to contact me, just email me: elumar@gmail.com

    See you!

    1. Muito obrigado, Elumar. O de ‘me’ vs ‘mi’ foi minha culpa quando o escrevi (já corregi obrigado a seu comentario). Com o de “Olá”, muito obrgado!

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