When Translation Apps Attack

After covering Plato and Aristotle in my political philosophy seminar here, I assigned my students their first paper. I wrote the assignment in English. My (human) translator Amer translated it into Arabic and posted it on the class’s website–a closed group site on Facebook. Facebook then automatically had the assignment re-translated back into English via Google Translate. And that’s when all hell broke loose.

Political philosophy
Paper #1
Due: July 11th.
Choose one of the following topics and write an essay of about 500-750 words (2-3 pages)
In response to that.
I have to submit the paper in the class of 7/11, petri dish, you can write
Paper either in Arabic or English.
1. Do you agree with Socrates that justice according to the person having it?
First, I give the answer, in general, then discussed the example of that, such as the occupation of the Israeli people. Do
Benefit the occupiers, occupation, or that he’s hurt them / my hurt them?
2. Imagine that ten years from now, the occupation of the Israeli-Palestine came to
The end.
In that case, be given the task to create 3-5 of political reforms village. or the city of Tibet.
What’s the reforms which will be in it?
And why are notified of such reforms?
Is he gonna play the concept could message him “City-State” any role in the creation of such reforms?
Eid Mubarak.

Any questions? Oh, and don’t forget to proofread.

11 thoughts on “When Translation Apps Attack

  1. Now, run that through the translation software into Arabic, then run that Arabic through into English, and see how much more ridiculous it gets each time.

    Like

    • I may just put it in a petri dish the next time I’m in the city of Tibet, and see if anyone messages me.

      Actually, with my luck, I’ll probably be suspected of promulgating some kind of secret code to my students and arrested for incitement. I can just imagine the interrogation: “So what’s in the petri dish? And what city does ‘Tibet’ stand for? Come on, don’t play games with us….”

      Like

  2. First round:

    الفلسفة السياسية
    ورقة # 1
    بسبب : 11 يوليو .
    اختيار واحد من الموضوعات التالية و كتابة مقال من حوالي 500-750 كلمة ( 2-3 صفحات )
    واستجابة لذلك .
    ولا بد لي من تقديم ورقة في فئة 11/07 ، طبق بتري ، يمكنك كتابة
    ورقة إما باللغة العربية أو الإنجليزية .
    1. هل تتفق مع سقراط أن العدالة وفقا ل شخص له ذلك؟
    أولا ، أعطي الإجابة ، بشكل عام ، ثم ناقش مثال على ذلك ، مثل احتلال الشعب الإسرائيلي . فعل
    الاستفادة المحتل والاحتلال ، أو أنه هو الحاق الضرر بهم / الخاصة بي الحاق الضرر بهم ؟
    2. تخيل أن عشر سنوات من الآن ، واحتلال الإسرائيلي الفلسطيني جاء ل
    النهاية.
    في هذه الحالة ، أن تعطى مهمة لخلق 3-5 من قرية الإصلاحات السياسية . أو مدينة التبت .
    ما هي الإصلاحات التي ستكون في ذلك؟
    ولماذا يتم إخطار هذه الإصلاحات ؟
    هل هو ستعمل لعب مفهوم يمكن رسالة له “مدينة – دولة ” أي دور في خلق مثل هذه الإصلاحات ؟
    عيد مبارك.
    alflsfat alssiasia
    waraqatan # 1
    bsbb : 11 yuliu .
    aikhtiar wahid min almawdueat alttaliat w kitabat maqal min hwaly 500-750 kalima ( 2-3 safahat )
    waistijabatan ldhlk .
    wala bd li min taqdim waraqat fi fiat 11/07 , tubbiq bitri , yumkinuk kitaba
    waraqatan ‘imma bialllughat alearabiat ‘aw al’iinjlizia .
    1. hal tattafiq mae suqrat ‘ann aleadalat wifqaan l shakhs lah dhlk?
    awla , ‘ueti al’iijabat , bishakl eamm , thumm naqash mithal ealaa dhlk , mithl aihtilal alshshaeb al’iisrayiyli . faeal
    alaistifadat almuhtall walaihtilal , ‘aw ‘annah hu ‘iilhaq alddarar bihim / alkhassat bi ‘iilhaq alddarar bihim ?
    2. tukhil ‘ann eshr sanawat min alan , waihtilal al’iisrayiyli alfilastini ja’ l
    alnnahayat.
    fi hadhih alhalat , ‘ann tuetaa muhimmatan likhalq 3-5 mmin qaryat al’iislahat alssiasia . ‘aw madinat alttabat .
    ma hi al’iislahat alty satakun fi dhillik?
    walimadha ytm ‘iikhtar hadhih al’iislahat ?
    hal hu sataemal laeib mafhum yumkin risalatan lah “mdinat – dawla ” ‘ay dawr fi khalq mithl hadhih al’iislahat ?
    eyd mubarak.

    Political Philosophy
    Paper # 1
    Because: July 11.
    Select one of the following topics and write an essay of about 500-750 words (2-3 pages)
    In response to that.
    I have to present a paper in the 11/07 category, a petri dish, you can write
    Paper either in Arabic or English.
    1. Do you agree with Socrates to justice in accordance with people’s him that?
    First, I answer, in general, and then discussed the example of this, such as the occupation of the Israeli people. Act
    Occupier benefit occupation, or that he is hurt them / my hurt them?
    2. Imagine that ten years from now, the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian and came to
    End.
    In this case, it is given the task to create 3-5 of political reforms village. Or Tibet City.
    What are the reforms that will be in it?
    And why are notified of these reforms?
    Is he gonna play concept that can send him a message, “city – state” no role in the creation of such reforms?
    Blessed eid.

    Second round:

    الفلسفة السياسية
    ورقة # 1
    للأسباب التالية: 11 يوليو.
    اختر واحدا من الموضوعات التالية و كتابة مقال من حوالي 500-750 كلمة ( 2-3 صفحات )
    واستجابة لذلك .
    ولا بد لي من تقديم ورقة في فئة 11/07 ، طبق بتري ، يمكنك كتابة
    ورقة إما باللغة العربية أو الإنجليزية .
    1. هل تتفق مع سقراط إلى العدالة وفقا ل له الناس ذلك؟
    أولا ، أجيب ، بشكل عام ، ومن ثم ناقش مثال على ذلك ، مثل احتلال الشعب الإسرائيلي . عمل
    الاحتلال مصلحة المحتل ، أو أنه يضرهم / بلدي يضر بهم؟
    2. تخيل أن عشر سنوات من الآن ، الاحتلال الإسرائيلي من الأراضي الفلسطينية ، وجاء ل
    النهاية.
    في هذه الحالة، يتم منحها فرصة مهمة لخلق 3-5 من قرية الإصلاحات السياسية . أو التبت سيتي.
    ما هي الإصلاحات التي ستكون في ذلك؟
    ولماذا يتم إخطار هذه الإصلاحات ؟
    هل هو ستعمل مفهوم اللعب التي يمكن أن ترسل له رسالة ، ” المدينة – الدولة” أي دور في إنشاء مثل هذه الإصلاحات ؟
    العيد المبارك .
    alflsfat alssiasia
    waraqatan # 1
    lil’asbab alttaliata: 11 yuliu.
    aikhtarr wahidaan min almawdueat alttaliat w kitabat maqal min hwaly 500-750 kalima ( 2-3 safahat )
    waistijabatan ldhlk .
    wala bd li min taqdim waraqat fi fiat 11/07 , tubbiq bitri , yumkinuk kitaba
    waraqatan ‘imma bialllughat alearabiat ‘aw al’iinjlizia .
    1. hal tattafiq mae suqrat ‘iilaa aleadalat wifqaan l llah alnnas dhillak?
    awla , ‘ujib , bishakl eamm , wamin thamm naqash mithal ealaa dhlk , mithl aihtilal alshshaeb al’iisrayiyli . eamal
    alaihtilal maslahat almuhtall ، ‘aw ‘annah yadurruhum / baladi yadurr bihim?
    2. tukhil ‘ann eshr sanawat min alan , alaihtilal al’iisrayiyli min al’aradi alfilastiniat , waja’ l
    alnnahayat.
    fi hadhih alhalati, ytm manhuha fursat muhimmatan likhalq 3-5 mmin qaryat al’iislahat alssiasia . ‘aw alttabt siti.
    ma hi al’iislahat alty satakun fi dhillik?
    walimadha ytm ‘iikhtar hadhih al’iislahat ?
    hal hu sataemal mafhum alllaeb alty ymkn ‘an tursil lah risalat , ” almadinat – alddawla” ‘ay dawr fi ‘iinsha’ mithl hadhih al’iislahat ?
    aleid almubarak .

    Political Philosophy
    Paper # 1
    For the following reasons: July 11.
    Choose one of the following topics and write an essay of about 500-750 words (2-3 pages)
    In response to that.
    I have to present a paper in the 11/07 category, a petri dish, you can write
    Paper either in Arabic or English.
    1. Do you agree with Socrates to justice according to his people that?
    First, I answer, in general, and then discussed the example of this, such as the occupation of the Israeli people. Action
    Occupation occupier interest, or hurt / my hurts them?
    2. Imagine that ten years from now, the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, and came to
    End.
    In this case, the task is given the opportunity to create 3-5 of political reforms village. Or Tibet City.
    What are the reforms that will be in it?
    And why are notified of these reforms?
    Is he gonna play concept that can send him a message, “city – state” no role in the establishment of such reforms?
    Eid Adha.

    Less variation than I’d hoped. Perhaps the lesson here is that Google Translate can translate itself well.

    Like

    • I think my favorite aspect of this whole exercise is that I was wishing the students blessings (“mubarak”) for Eid al Fitr. By imperceptible steps–and with no basis whatsoever in the text–Google just randomly turned Eid al Fitr into Eid al Adha, a totally different holiday. It’s as though you wished someone a Merry Christmas, and the translation app unilaterally decided, “No, forget Christmas–we’re celebrating Easter.” An impressive concept play.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Merry Christmas

        عيد ميلاد سعيد (eid milad saeid)

        Holiday Merry

        عطلة ميلاد سعيد(eutlat milad saeid)

        It can’t get that straight, either. But it doesn’t go so far as Easter.

        Liked by 1 person

    • طبق بتري (tubbiq mkhbry) -> ‘Petri Dish’

      ‘Petri dish’ -> طبق مخبري (ubbiq almukhtabar)

      طبق مخبري (ubbiq almukhtabar) -> ‘Laboratory dish’

      ‘Laboratory dish’ -> طبق المختبر (tubbiq almukhtabar)

      طبق المختبر (tubbiq almukhtabar) -> ‘Laboratory dish’

      ‘Labrador dish’ -> طبق لابرادور (tubbiq labradur)

      How many Arabic variations on this can there be?

      But yes, what was this supposed to say? (And what is the difference between ‘tubbiq’ and ‘ubbiq’? ‘tubbiq’ must mean dish, but that’s the part that stays the same in English — so…??? Ah, the difference is a copy/paste error. No wonder.)

      Like

  3. Pingback: St. Luke, Suicide Bomber: Political Philosophy Paper #2 in Translation | Policy of Truth

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