A quick primer in how and why machine translation fails. Computers might be the slightest bit literal, and this creates some amusing stumbles.

Short version: There’s a Chinese audiophile term used to describe equipment that can faithfully capture high-frequency vocals. The computers opted to translate this as “female poison” because that is literally what the term means.

Courtesy of Hans Oddvar Vannes

This is why I appreciate what Language Log does. It’s easy for monolingual writers to pen…



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store