Voices from Russia

Monday, 24 August 2015

24 August 2015. A Changing Hut with an “Interesting” Machine Translation

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Let’s start with the inscriptions on the hut before we get to the machine translation howler…

In the top image, on the right-hand side, we see:

  • Лада (Slavic Rodnovery Goddess of Spring season and Love)
  • Ладить (get along)
  • Ладан (incense)
  • Ладья (Rook)
  • Сладость (sweetness)
  • Ладонь (palm of the hand)
  • Услада (delight)
  • Владеть (to rule)
  • Владимир (Vladimir, a name, “Ruler of the World”… also, “Peaceful Ruler”)

The middle image is an expanded view of the centre:

  • Русь просыпается: (Rus awakens)
  • Радуга (rainbow)
  • Ура (hooray)
  • Разум (mind)
  • Гора (mountain)
  • Урал (Ural Mountains)
  • Жара (heat)
  • Рассвет (dawn)
  • Радость (joy)

The last image is an expanded view of the left-hand side of the hut:

  • Род (Slavic Rodnovery Ancestor God)
  • родители (parents)
  • Родина (Motherland)
  • Народ (People, Tribe, Nation)
  • Родник (Spring (water, aquifer)
  • Огород (vegetable garden)
  • Город (city)
  • Смородина (Currant)

The original caption for this was:

В деревне, на общественном пляже умелец разрисовал кабинку для переодевания.

Literally, that comes out to:

In a village, on a public beach, a craftsman painted this on a changing hut.

That’s jangly and moves in fits and starts, I modified it to:

A craftsman painted this on a changing hut on a public beach in a village.

After I was done, for utter shits n’ giggles, I ran a “machine translation”… this came up:

In the village, on a public beach, artificer painted by the booth for the cross-dressing.

Gee… is that the “Stonewall Inn Memorial Beach” or what? That’s why you can’t use machine translation for serious work unless you have a handle on the language. “Booth for the cross-dressing”… y’know, that’s jangly enough to pass as “Russlish”… all you Russian-Americans know what I’m talking about.

Language… if you don’t know what you’re doing… ooh-la-la… but ya gotta admit, “Booth for the cross-dressing”… that’s a classic blooper.



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