Talk:Literal translation

WikiProject Translation studies (Rated Start-class)
This article is within the scope of the WikiProject Translation Studies, a collaborative effort to expand, improve and standardise the content and structure of articles related to Translation Studies. If you would like to participate, you can edit this article, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of objectives.
 Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.

literal translation

Newbie translators?

The article mentions "newbie translators" (without a link). Perhaps there's a more stylish/correct way? I'll add a link for now.

All your base

Just a thought, perhaps this page could use a link to All your base are belong to us? It is one of the more well known mistranslations, most likely stemming from a machine translation.


"Kindergarten" is not a very good illustration to choose, because even in German a Kindergarten is very seldom literally-- a children's garden. Also, the "English" definition given here is US-centric. -- Picapica 19:33, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

A number of topics

It seems that this article covers a number of topics: literal translation, language interference, back translation (sometimes applied to MT), morphemic glossing, etc. The article really needs to be systematized and have the different (related) concepts addressed in it put in some sort of framework. Right now this is about 10% encyclopedia, 90% amusing (and perhaps instructive) anecdotes.-Fenevad 13:16, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

What is the difference between Literal translation and Calque?

Is loan translation a stronger term of Literal translation? I can't figure out why is it necessary to divide them to two things. (talk) 12:39, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

"translating an analytic language to a synthetic language": remove "to synthetic language"?

I suspect that the second part is redundant: word-by-word translation from an analytic language to any language ends up in a mess. Even to its sibling languages: translating Led Zeppelin to any language will make little sense, will it not? Retired electrician (talk) 20:34, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

The vodka is good, but the meat is rotten

Back when I started teaching AI (1990), I located an account of the English-to-Russian-to-English translation in an AI journal. I believe, but am not entirely sure, that the issue was in the late 60s or early 70s. However, I am entirely sure, having used the example many times in lecture, that the English output was

The vodka is agreeable, but the meat is insipid.

for the English input of

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Here the errors are entirely sensible. They do not make sense in the folkloric account. By the way, people who were fluent in both English and Russian were in high demand, and relatively short supply, in the United States during the Cold War. My recollection is that the group developing the English-to-Russian and Russian-to-English translators simply did not have a full-time employee who knew Russian. That's the reason that they sometimes fed the output of the former translator into the latter, and compared "English out" to "English in."

I haven't managed to find my source using Google Scholar. That's not surprising, because many journal articles from earlier years have never been scanned. Perhaps someone will take the clues I've given, and will do some old-fashioned digging in a research library. There weren't many AI journals, prior to the advent of electronic publishing, so it's not as big a chore as you might think.ThomHImself (talk) 02:17, 5 June 2018 (UTC)