The translation process can best be described by a metaphor of a car with a cargo that has to go through the Euro-Tunnel. On the French side all the road, road signs, towns, and houses have a distinctive French style. The cargo in the car is the text to be translated and the means to help in the translation process is the dictionaries and the translation programs (CAT Tools), = (Euro-Tunnel), when the car arrives at the British side of the Channel, the roads, the traffic direction, road signs, towns, and houses have a distinctive English style. If the translation is average it will still look like a French car with a French cargo on the British side. If you want to make a good translation where the contents and the meaning come across to the other language, it is necessary to tailor and adjust the text (the car and the Cargo) so it fits naturally into the different surrounding on the British side of the Channel. This means that translation is not a straight-forward process. The translator has to take differences in culture, vocabulary, grammar, semantics, and syntax into consideration during the translation process and tailor and adjust the translated text accordingly. However, the target to aim for is that the whole meaning of the translated text to the widest possible extent is analog with the original French text and that the meaning is the same. (You do not just sit down with a dictionary and translate word for word – you will just get a collection of English words with French grammar, and syntax.)

To continue with the difference between French and English, here are a few main differences:

Alphabet: The French alphabet contains the same 26 letters of the English alphabet, plus the letters with diacritics: é (acute acent) è à ù (grave accent), ç (cedilla), â ê î ô û (circumflex), ë ï ü (diaeresis). French ESL students may have interference problems in class when the teacher spells out words. For example, beginners commonly write i or j when the teacher says e or g.

Phonology: There are some differences in the sound systems of the two languages that can cause French learners problems of comprehension and speech production. Spelling errors may result from the frequent lack of correspondence between the pronunciation of English words and their spelling.

A typical pronunciation problem is the inability to correctly articulate the vowel sounds in minimal pairs such as ship/sheep, live/ eave, full/fool. Because the tip of the tongue is not used in speaking French, learners often have problems with words containing the letters th (/θ/ /ð/), such as then, think and clothes.

Another common feature of English spoken by French learners is the omission of the /h/ sound at the beginning of words. This sound does not exist in French and leads to problems such as ‘Ave you ‘eard about ‘arry?, or overcompensation by pronouncing the /h/ in words like hour, honour.

French learners typically have problems with the unpredictable stress patterns of English words, particularly of cognates. (Word stress in French is regular.) Learners may also be unwilling to engage in the prevalent vowel reduction of unstressed syllables in English. Consider, for example, the way that English native speakers swallow the first syllable of the word tomorrow (t’morrow). These problems result in the stereotypical staccato French accent of beginning learners.

Grammar – Verb/Tense: French and English verb grammar have considerable areas of overlap. Both languages, for example, have auxiliaries, participles, active/passive voice, past/present/future tenses. However, there are some differences that can cause interference in the production of English.

A typical problem is the wrong choice of tense. Despite the external similarities of verb grammar, there are frequent occasions when French uses a different tense to convey a particular meaning than English. Some common examples are the following faulty sentences:

  • I have played tennis yesterday.
  • I can’t play now. I do my homework.
  • I live in London since last year.
  • I will tell you as soon as I will know.

Should have been:

  • I played tennis yesterday.
  • I can’t play right now. I have to do my homework.
  • I have been living in London for one year.
  • I will tell you as soon as possible.

Because French does not use the auxiliary do, learners may have problems in asking questions. For example, they may simply make a statement and use question intonation: He is rich?, or they may invert subject and verb: How often see you her?

Grammar – Other: Although English and French share the same basic Subject-Verb-Object syntax, there are numerous variations in the word order of sentences more complicated than the I bought a new car type. Here are a few common errors:

  • I play sometimes golf.
  • I have too much eaten!
  • It was the film the best I have seen.
  • Do you know what is the time?

Should have been:

  • Sometimes I play golf.
  • I have had  too much to eat.
  • It was the best film, I have ever seen.
  • Do you know the time?

Article use in French is similar but not identical to that in English. French pronouns are based on the gender of the noun they are associated with; and the possessive adjectives agree with the nouns they qualify. Interference in these areas will lead to mistakes such as:

  • He is doctor.
  • This is the John’s car.
  • What stupid thing to do!
  • The German is easier than the English.
  • Do you like my umbrella. He was very cheap.
  • I met John and her wife for dinner.

Should have been:

  • He is a doctor.
  • This is John’s car.
  • What a stupid thing to do!
  • German is easier than English.
  • Do you like my umbrella. It was very cheap.
  • I meet John and his wife for dinner.

Vocabulary: A large number of words in the two languages have the same Latin roots and are mutually comprehensible, although this applies more to academic/technical words than to everyday vocabulary. The concomitant problem, however, is the significant number of false friends. Here are just a few examples. The French word is listed first, followed by the correct English equivalent: cave / cellar; isolation / insulation; demander / ask; sensible / sensitive; ignorer / not know; librairie / bookshop.

If you want to work as a translator, you will typically be asked to do a sample translation like the ones below, without any errors, before you get actual translation jobs.

Multimedia Text

The latest innovation from our company sets new benchmarks and combines all the features which POS advertising material can offer in the smallest space: an active, moving advertising space using the whole screen including a corner presentation for your products in an illuminated product panel. In this way you not only show your product, but also communicate other additional information as a video or image via the LCD screen. If you experiment with exhibiting your products through the form of advertising films, the illuminated product panel is only visible if at this point very bright/white content is played back over the otherwise complete screen. In this way the products you present can be completely, in part or alternately presented with different additional content – exactly how you want it.
The robust metal case is powder-coated with white as standard. The LCD screen with classic 4:3 image format is available in 20″ and 15″ sizes. Image and video data can easily be played via USB upload, CF or SD-card. Loudspeakers have already been integrated in the Moving Light Presenter for a playback of advertising content set to music.

Legal Text

Section 1


a) Purpose. This Frame Agreement (hereafter referred to as “Contract”) sets out the terms and conditions that shall govern the supply of products and any associated services by the Supplier to any Kraft affiliate while contracted during the Term of this Contract as referred to below.

b) Definitions:

X-affiliates” shall reference any company which is directly or indirectly owned or controlled by XX Global, Inc.

c) Companion Agreements. X-affiliates shall engage the Supplier for the supply of products by a Companion Agreement (each a “Companion Agreement”). Thereafter the X affiliate shall contract for the supply of individual product items by means of a purchase order issued to the Supplier.

d) Application of terms of the Contract to Companion Agreements. The terms of this Contract shall be incorporated into any Companion Agreement concluded by a Supplier and a X-affiliate during the Term of this Contract and shall be applied on the basis that the terms “X” and “Supplier” refer respectively to the parties to such Companion Agreement. The terms shall be those effective the date the Companion Agreement is concluded.

In the event of conflict, the terms of the Companion Agreement (other than any pre-printed terms and conditions) shall prevail over the terms of this Contract. The standard business terms of either Supplier shall be excluded and do not apply to any Companion Agreement.

Travel Text

A culinary tour for the realm of the senses

For ages, Japan – “the land of the rising sun” – has held a magical attraction for the West. The symbols of a mysterious culture appear before us. Marked by tradition and legend, they give us just a fleeting glimpse of an unusual way of life!

A small piece of this fascination id located the centre of Leipzig – the Japanese restaurant “Yi”.

The true desire to cater to the guest’s wishes – as a demonstration of respect – is the centre of Japanese hospitality. You will find the atmosphere – simple lines using natural materials – to be a soothing experience.

Guests in a hurry can enjoy the midday “Shinkansen lunch” – for a quick meal. Here you can experience the other Japan, marked by a hectic pace and business atmosphere. Get rewarded with unlimited enjoyment of this Japanese culinary event by taking more time and opening up your senses for what awaits you.

Let our “Teppanyaki grill” delight you, experience a feast for the senses with “tempura” or indulge in the crowning event for body and soul – “sushi and sashimi”.

We are looking forward to your visit!

Note, that the customer is not always right – There are a few errors in all the source texts, try to spot them!

Lets see how bad Machine Translation are. Here is the first sample text translated by Microsoft Translator:

Den seneste innovation fra vores virksomhed sætter nye benchmarks og kombinerer alle de funktioner, som POS reklamemateriale kan tilbyde i den mindste plads: en aktiv og bevægende reklameplads hele skærmen, inklusive et hjørne præsentation til dine produkter i en belyst Produktpanelet. denne måde du ikke alene vise dit produkt, men også meddele andre supplerende oplysninger som en video eller billede via LCD-skærmen. Hvis du afprøver udstille dine produkter gennem formen for reklame film, er Produktpanelet belyste kun synlig, hvis der dette tidspunkt meget lyse/hvide indhold spilles tilbage over den ellers komplet skærmen. denne måde de produkter du nuværende kan præsenteres helt, delvist eller skiftevis med forskellige ekstra indhold præcis hvordan du ønsker det.
Robust metal tilfældet er pulverlakeret med hvid som standard. LCD-skærmen med klassiske 4:3 billedformat er tilgængelig i 20″ og 15″ størrelser. Billede og video data kan nemt afspilles via USB overføre, CF eller SD-kort. Højttalerne er allerede blevet indarbejdet i flytter lys studievært for en afspilning af reklame indhold sat i musik.
A really bad translation into Danish, that needs a lot of editing before it is useful.

 Here again the raw output from Microsoft Translator of text number two:

Afdeling 1
a) formål. Denne ramme aftale (i det følgende benævnt “Aftalen”) fastsætter vilkår og betingelser der skal gælde for levering af produkter og alle tilhørende tjenester af leverandør til enhver Kraft affiliate mens indgået i løbet af denne kontrakt som nævnt nedenfor.
b) definitioner:
“X-affiliates” skal henvise til ethvert selskab, der er direkte eller indirekte ejes eller kontrolleres af XX Global, Inc.
c) følgesvend aftaler. X-affiliates indleder leverandøren til levering af produkter af en følgesvend aftale (hver en “følgesvend aftale”). Derefter skal X affiliate kontrakt om levering af enkelte varer ved hjælp af en indkøbsordre, der er udstedt til leverandøren.
d) anvendelsen af kontraktbestemmelser følgesvend aftaler. Vilkårene i denne kontrakt skal integreres i enhver følgesvend aftale indgået mellem en leverandør og en X-affiliate i løbet af denne kontrakt og skal anvendes det grundlag, at begreberne “X” og “Leverandør” henviser henholdsvis til parterne i sådanne følgesvend aftale. Vilkårene skal være dem effektiv følgesvend aftale indgåelse.
I tilfælde af konflikt forrang følgesvend aftale (end nogen fortrykte vilkår og betingelser) vilkårene i denne kontrakt. Standard forretningsbetingelser af enten leverandøren skal udelukkes og gælder ikke for enhver følgesvend aftale.
Ha! Ha! Ha!
The world is still in need of good human translators!
Here is the last text – with machine translation from SmartCAT
En kulinarisk rundtur til realm af sanserne
For aldre, har Japan “land af den opgående sol” afholdt en magisk tiltrækning for Vesten. Der vises symboler af en mystisk kultur før os. Præget af tradition og legende, giver de os kun et flygtigt glimt af en usædvanlig måde af liv!
Et lille stykke af denne fascination id ligger centrum af Leipzigden japanske restaurant “Yi”.
Den sande ønske om at cater hen til den gæst ønskersom en demonstration af respekt er centrum af japanske gæstfrihed. Du vil finde atmosfæren enkle linjer ved hjælp af naturlige materialer for at være en beroligende oplevelse.
Gæster i en fart kan nyde middag “Shinkansen frokost”for et hurtigt måltid. Her kan du opleve de andre Japan, præget af en hektisk tempo og forretnings atmosfære. belønnet med ubegrænset nydelse af denne japanske kulinariske begivenhed ved at tage mere tid og åbning dine sanser for hvad der venter dig.
Lad vores “Teppanyaki grill” Fryd dig, opleve en fest for sanserne med “tempura” eller forkæl dig selv i hændelsen kronen for krop og sjæl “sushi og sashimi”.
Vi ser frem til dit besøg!
The lesson learned is newer to use machine translation – it is not good enough for professional translation work!
Here is another sample, this time a typical IT text:

The Model

X provides x_Db_Table which implements the Table Data Gateway design pattern to allow for interfacing with data in a database table. For more complicated projects, it is usually worth creating a model class that uses one or more x_Db_Table instances via protected member variables. For this tutorial however, we are going to create a model that extends x_Db_Table.

x_Db_Table is an abstract class, so we have to derive our class that is specific to managing albums When we include the prefix, our class will be called Model_DbTable_Albums as our table name is albums. To tell x_Db_Table the name of the table that it will manage, we have to set the protected property $_name to the name of the table. Also, x_Db_Table assumes that your table has a primary key called „id“, which is auto-incremented by the database. The name of this field can be changed too if required.

We will store our Albums class in a file called Albums.php within the applications/models/DbTable directory:. Create this file and enter the following code:



class Model_DbTable_Albums extends x_Db_Table_Abstract

protected $_name = ‘albums’; public function getAlbum($id)

$id = (int)$id; $row = $this->fetchRow(‘id = ‘ . $id); if (!$row)

throw new Exception(“Count not find row $id”); return $row->toArray();

public function addAlbum($artist, $title)

$data = array( ‘artist’ => $artist, ‘title’ => $title,

); $this->insert($data);

public function updateAlbum($id, $artist, $title)