Online translators

I’m testing a couple translators using the lyrics to one of the songs that has been hitting close to home for me. It’s a portion of a song called Den Khi Nao Voi and sung by Mai Tien Dung. Very interesting results. Sooo, here we go.


Biết yêu anh là sai sai sai sai sai
Biết yêu anh là đau đau đau đớn hoài
Muốn ôm anh thật lâu
Chẳng muốn xa rời đâu
Phải làm sao để ta được như lúc đầu

Biết đến khi nào vơi vơi vơi anh ơi
Biết đến khi nào thôi thôi thôi nhớ người
Vẫn nơi đây chờ anh
Nhớ mong anh từng đêm
Từng ngày qua con tim càng đau nhói thêm

Mỏi mòn…

Microsoft translate:

Know the love you are wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong
I know love is pain pain pain hoài
want to hug you so long
not far left where he should be
as the first known

when it would engage with the unfortunate with guys know
when okay Let’s remember who’s
still here waiting for you
to remember each day
the heart as a sharp pain more

Tired worn …

Google translate:

I love you is wrong wrong
Knowing you love is painful pain forever
Want to hold him for a long time
Do not want to be far away
How can we be like in the beginning

Know when to go with me
Know when to stop remembering people
Still here waiting for you
Remember me every night
Every day my heart aches more

Languishing… (SDL*) had to do a survey first…

Love you is wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong
know love you is pain pain pain caused
want to hold you a long time
does not want apart from where
to do to get as at first

known when empty empty empty honey
know until it okay remember
people are still here waiting for you
remember expect you every night
every day through the heart as a pain in extra


So it looks like the big ones are Google, Microsoft and PROMPT, but the last one does not support Vietnamese. As you can piece together the amongst the three translations here the gist of the song, honestly I think the last one is probably the closest and the Microsoft one is the furthest from the mark. Google tries to make the translation make sense to the reader and Microsoft tries to do that to, but ends up making up a passage that strays from the gist of the piece. The SDL one seems to be the most literal and for me the most useful in general, especially given that it actually repeats the words like the original repeats it. I love the more literal translations of things.

Still, for someone who doesn’t know what the original passage is saying, you’d need all three to get a good idea of what’s going on. Vietnamese is an interesting language.


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