How do I even begin to explain this

I noticed Facebook’s offer to translate text into English for the first time today. Most foreign script that shows up in my newsfeed is Hebrew, so the language offered my first opportunity to test the feature out. You know how it can be fun to press buttons.

Here’s the status I chose for a guinea pig:

רוצה כפתור בפייסבוק למחוק סטטוסים מפגרים שאחרים כותבים

Here’s how Facebook translated it (with the help of Bing):

In case you can’t read Hebrew and think the bonus word might have some basis in the original text, here’s Google’s translation:

Facebook button to delete statuses retarded others are writing

And while we’re at it, it would be nice if there was a Facebook button to delete terrible translations.

Also, interesting to note Facebook offers the Translate option for Hebrew, but not yet for other, more commonly-spoken languages like, say, Português. Could just be harder to tell


Anyone else notice the Beacon headline didn’t have a question mark?

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9 thoughts on “How do I even begin to explain this”

    1. So you’re telling me someone translates things for Facebook and adds random words for fun?

      Also, translating English Wikipedia into Spanish sounds like the worst use of this website ever. You’d have to start over so many times!

      Like

    2. Incidentally, that approach is more or less how Facebook translated itself into so many languages in the first place – it asked users to offer their best translations for things like ‘Friend’ and ‘Poke’ and all other English text, and then asked them to vote on which best captured the original meaning.

      Like

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