Sunday, April 10, 2011

Online Translation

On my Collected Poetical Works blog I recently posted a Valentine's day haiku.
just a single dove
atop our back garden tree
on Valentine's day
The poem has been translated by four Russian translators on the Version website.

I thought it would be interesting to see how they back-translated and I found the Paralink translation site which offers two translations of any text.

The results were
  1. просто одинокий голубь
    на верхушке нашего черного садового дерева
    день Валентина
    translates as
    Simply lonely pigeon
    On a top of our black garden tree
    Day of Valentine
    or (via Google translation)
    just a lone dove on top of our black wood garden Valentine's Day
  2. голубь - одна штука
    на обуглившемся дереве в нашем саду
    в Валентинов день
    translates as
    The pigeon - one piece
    On the charred tree in ours to a garden
    In Valentines day
    or (via Google translation)
    dove - one piece at charred tree in our garden in the Valentine's Day
  3. стонет белый голубочек
    на черном-черном дереве -
    Валентинов день
    translates as
    Groans white голубочек
    On black-ebony-
    Valentines day
    or (via Google translation)
    moaning white dove on a black-black tree - Valentine's Day
  4. ...а всего-то одинокий голубок
    на верхушке чёрной яблони в саду
    да Валентинов День
    translates as
    ... And only lonely голубок
    On a top of a black apple-tree in a garden
    Yes Valentinov Den
    or (via Google translation)
    ... And just a lone dove on top of a black apple in the garden so Valentine's Day

Quite fascinating to see the variations. Do they understand Valentine's day in Russia?

1 comment:

  1. That reminds me of the story of the phrase 'Out of sight, out of mind' being translated into Russian then back into English again. It ended up as 'Invisible lunatic'. The story may be apocryphal but I like to think it's true.