Almost perfect?

When I read a recent article announcing Google’s claim of achieving  “almost perfect language translation”, it reminded me of a story our school teacher told us, many years ago.

Apparently, computer scientists wrote an application to translate between English and Russian and it was tested with the expression:  “Out of sight, out of mind.” This was duly converted into Russian and then back again, as:  “Invisible idiot.” The obvious implication is that the nuances and subtleties of language will always be beyond mere machines.

Whether computational linguistics have advanced in line with the processing power and speed of modern computer systems will no doubt be revealed with Google’s product launch.

I know it’s a cheap shot, but I couldn’t resist using Google’s own site,, to convert the article into Russian and then back again, so here it is, followed by a link to the original:

Do not panic: Google has a prototype for a device is “real-time”, “almost perfect” is used in some

It sounds like Google, Babel Fish-esque instant solution transfer is making progress – Android VP Hugo Barra said that the UK Times, Google received a hardware prototype ( in the form of mobile phones ) are rabotaet.Bolee addition, in a recent test, he took part in, the system was “almost perfect” with certain combinations of languages ​​(English into Portuguese, underlined).

The biggest hurdle for the translation itself, is speech recognition. So many words, the background noise interferes with translation software, thus affecting the results. But Barra said it is working “close to 100 percent” when used in a “controlled environment. “Sounds perfect for diplomats, not so much for real conversations. course, not a real-time Google, text translation software built into Chrome leaves quite a bit to be desired, which makes us all the more careful to put our faith into a verbal decision Google. As the functionality still “a few years”, however, there is still plenty of time to pay us.

I don’t think Mr Cass would have been too impressed if my homework was that bad. You can read the original text at

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