Translation is hard.

So when computers try to translate text automatically, the results can be hilarious or tragic. But improvements are on the horizon. How does machine translation work, and can humans and computers work together?

Linguist Daniel Midgley gets lost in translation on this episode of Talk the Talk.

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Promo with James Hall

Show notes

Deaf community concerned over proposed changes to television captioning requirements

Video: How closed captioning is done

More video: How closed captioning works

CDZA with “Fresh Prince: Google Translated”

“Let It Go” from Frozen according to Google Translate (PARODY) by Malinda Kathleen Reese

/pol/ discovers the wonders of Google Translate

4chan’s /pol/ learns to speak Somali (Warning: possible racism)

Try your own Somali “translations”

Here’s what Somali is really like

Thirteen really untranslatable words

Seen on Wall Street: “No more corruption” —> “There is no corruption”

Somali has a complicated morphology

History of machine translation

Stanford system combines software with human intelligence to improve translation

Spence Green’s EMNLP paper (PDF)

Macquarie’s Aussie Word of the Week


“Riding shotgun”

Show tunes

‘Failures’ by Joy Division
from the album Substance

‘All Mine’ by Portishead
from the album Portishead