July 2011


Google Translate Fail

I found the following sentence on Amazon.de:

Auf Lager. Zustellung kann bis zu 2 zusätzliche Tage in Anspruch nehmen.

Instead of taking the 5 seconds necessary to fully digest and understand it, I popped it into Google Translate:

In stock. Delivery may take up to 2 weeks.

After re-reading the German sentence I knew immediately something had gone wrong–and now I wonder how on earth could Google Translate get something so simple, so wrong?

4 comments to Google Translate Fail

  • That’s actually pretty good of Google Translate to take into account that Amazon is over-optimistic with their delivery times!

    • I just want to report that the item with this warning arrived Friday — shipped the day I ordered it, while the other item, that didn’t have this warning will arrive Monday…

      Strange times at the Amazon warehouse…

  • ann

    It’s several days later and the translation is still messed up. Doesn’t their translation tool do some of its decoding based on the proximity of words to other words in online text elsewhere? (Maybe other companies take much much longer to deliver.) Still, it is odd. “Days” isn’t even among the alternate translations.

    I have had google translate miss negation words before. I use the tranlsator a lot at work, but if I am counting on it, I am sure to be very careful.

    • I know! What I find fascinating is that there doesn’t appear to be a way to report mis-translations to Google in order to help them improve — at least not one visible on that page, and I cannot be arsed to figure out how to tell them that there’s a problem — other than my blog post.