Wick Communications

Lost in translation in Sierra Vista

In Editing on December 6, 2013 at 8:49 am

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One day last week, Sierra Vista Herald reporter Adam Curtis opened a link and read an unrecognizable version of his own story. It was as if his story had been rewritten by a drugged-out dyslexic who speaks an unknown language. It begins:

SIERRA VISTA, Arizona — Sitting in his family’s Hereford home dual hours before to attack a road, Mohammed Hansen already had his cycling gloves on.

“Did we nap in your biking gloves?” Gordon Scott asked Hansen.

“I feel like I’m bark off skin when we take them off,” Hansen said.

After spending 75 days covering some-more than 3,000 miles on a furloughed bicycle, Hansen only feels improved with a gloves on.

The dual friends looked most opposite than they did in September, when they left Anchorage, Alaska, en track to Naco, Arizona No longer purify cut, Hansen and Scott were sporting copiousness of careless facial hair, with wardrobe selected for a function, not a aesthetics.

Wick Senior Network Engineer Don Judd shared with me that version of the story as a sort of cautionary tale. His best guess is that someone translated the story into another language and then the Alaska News attempted to “retranslate” it back into English. The result is less than English. …

Here’s the takeaway: Don’t make that mistake. Tools like translate.google.com show a lot of promise, but they aren’t good enough to trust. If you want to translate something into, say, Spanish, that’s great. But make sure someone fluent in the language reads it before you post it somewhere.

Oh, and here’s Adam’s story – in real English.

— Clay

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