Digital Summit in Estonia Proved to be Lost in Translation

By Atlas LS

There is no doubt that AI and Machine Translation is amazing and their transformation from creation to present day is as well. However, these are accolades on a consumer based use, or the individual for recreational purposes, definitely not when it comes to business use or conference translation services. Take the example below for a perfect explanation of why using machine translation for business purposes can turn into a real flop.


conference translation - estonia

The Karl Marx quote, “Workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains,” was spoken in Estonian as “Maailma töötajad ühendavad sind, kui sul pole midagi kaotada, vaid oma ahelad.” An Estonian journalist stated, “This is Estonian, apparently, but gibberish.”

The sentence was put back through Google Translate this time, and what came out was: “World workers unite you, if you have nothing to lose but their chains.” Not much better.

The Lesson

The lesson for revolutionaries wanting to machine-translate original words would be…to wait. The science of automatic/machine translation is just not yet there.

The people at translate2017.EU, an Estonian presidency project, made promises of “being better than Google,” and gloating that their use of brain science coupled with understanding of nueral networks is to take computer translation and revolutionize it. However, there is definitely room for improvement.

This particular stand for translation was one of roughly 20 stands that were viewable at the DigitExpo. The expo is for government heads and press at the Tallinn Digital Summit. “Imaginative practical applications on the technological revolution, the Estonians said.”

Full Article at: The Irish Times


This is just one of many examples why businesses, governments, and more need to be diligent when choosing the methods to translate their conferences, meetings, even legal documents. For more information on how professional translation services can benefit you, please read more about us or contact us at your convenience.