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Google Translate Abuse
June 1, 2011 - By: - In: Machine Translation - 32 comments

These damned kids and all their boop-de-boop beatbox foolishness. It’s an outrage the way they are misusing a serious machine translation tool like Google for their antics instead of for serious, possibly lifesaving translation. As reported early on by Translation Guy, these so-called “hep cats” have been laying down musical rifts by typing in nonsense words in German and other languages and then playing back the translation in audio. Gott im Himmel! And they call that music! Here’s a sample from a Google Demo slam.

Well, I hate to say I told you so, so I’ll just leave out the rest of the phrase, but, because, as exclusively predicted by me internet ages ago, these so-called “beatbox artists” have taken their Google Translate beatbox antics to even new lows (and highs). And it’s worse even than I feared, a virulent global phenomenon, pandemic of pandemonium.

Members of the jury, exhibit one: Composer Taiwanese Pianist Wiwi Kuan (官大為), Google Translate Abuser.

In Taiwan, certain individuals have started using the Google Translate audio to sing songs they’ve composed or to spoof videos. By Google’s own admission, this video called “Google Translate Song” ratcheted up over half a million views and became one of the most popular YouTube videos in Taiwan recently.  On his Blog, Wiwi claims 40 million hits, which means he’s getting a lot more hits in addition to Facebook since he’s feel-good news for a quarter of humanity, or Google translate can’t handle numbers in Trad Chinese, which is how I translated the post on his blog, Wiwi want to thank you all to join in PDF sheet music to give you the way!

If that’s not enough, check out the TV interview with Wiwi here. Looks like a nice kid, but looks can be deceiving. Let that be a lesson to you: Google Translate abusers look just like you and me.

But for total debasement of all the standards that Google Translate holds most dear (“Do no evil” is a very high standard, in its own way…), we must turn to Lady Gaga. This video I got from Josh Wolford, who describes it as “And then there’s this…whatever this may be.” You said it, Josh.

Listening to this was the first time I understood the words, which is the only silver lining in this gathering plague-cloud of wanton Google Translate misuse. I invite concerned readers to post links to other good examples, as fuel to my outrage.

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