The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Mundane Pointless Stuff I Must Share (MPSIMS)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-31-2012, 08:18 AM
stpauler stpauler is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 6,245
Is google translate sexist?

Put the following sentence into google translate:
Men are men and men should clean the kitchen

Translate it into German:
Männer sind Männer und Frauen sollten die Küche sauber

While it's grammatically correct, for some reason, Google thinks that women should clean the kitchen.

Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 01-31-2012, 08:22 AM
chrisk chrisk is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Southern ontario
Posts: 5,953
Hmm... maybe just German is sexist? It doesn't do that when translating the same sentence to French.
__________________
Stringing Words Forum
Aspiring writers and authors supporting each other.
Goals and resolutions our particular specialty - also sharing commiseration and triumphs.
Join today!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-31-2012, 08:46 AM
Baracus Baracus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
For some reason it seems to wants to translate the sentence fragment "men and men" into "men and women". If you replace the "and" in your sentence with a period the translation becomes correct.

Last edited by Baracus; 01-31-2012 at 08:47 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-31-2012, 08:58 AM
Nava Nava is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Google translate doesn't work word-by-word; if you want that, try Babelfish.

Translate tries to identify whole sentences or sentence fragments; it's programmed to propose the most-frequent fragment among several possible ones. Apparently its German memory has a lot more instances of "women should clean the kitchen" than of "men should clean the kitchen". This seems to say more about German texts than about Translate.

Last edited by Nava; 01-31-2012 at 08:59 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-31-2012, 09:03 AM
Baracus Baracus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
Apparently its German memory has a lot more instances of "women should clean the kitchen" than of "men should clean the kitchen". This seems to say more about German texts than about Translate.
Nope. It is specifically the fragment "men and men" that is tripping it up. If you type in "Men should clean the kitchen" by itself, you get "Männer sollten sauber die Küche".

ETA: OK, it may be a little of both. "Men and men" translates to "Maenner and Frauen". "Men are men and men have dicks" translates to "Männer sind Männer und Männer haben Schwänze"

Last edited by Baracus; 01-31-2012 at 09:07 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-31-2012, 09:10 AM
jjimm jjimm is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Google Translate isn't just sexist, it's wholly polluted. The result of too much crowdsourcing + algorithms.

Examples:

It translates metres in some Euro languages into feet in English. I can't even begin to say how stupid that is, on many different levels.

It often translates names into their equivalents. E.g. "Massimo" gets translated to "Max". This is retarded beyond all measure. Proper nouns should be immutable unless there's a historical precedent for alteration (Peking/Beijing, Germany/Deutschland). But it's more stupid than that, because it's inconsistent - it only does it about 20% of the time.

It's a great idea that's gone wrong.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-31-2012, 09:40 AM
kayaker kayaker is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 14,294
As long as the kitchen gets cleaned, does it really matter?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-31-2012, 01:16 PM
Maus Magill Maus Magill is offline
Not a real doctor.
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 6,173
Quote:
Originally Posted by stpauler View Post
Put the following sentence into google translate:
Men are men and men should clean the kitchen

Translate it into German:
Männer sind Männer und Frauen sollten die Küche sauber

While it's grammatically correct, for some reason, Google thinks that women should clean the kitchen.

One problem is that your sentence isn't grammatically correct, ether. You're missing a comma. When I plug in, "Men are men, and men should clean the kitchen," I get:
Quote:
Männer sind Männer, und Männer sollten die Küche sauber.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-31-2012, 06:15 PM
Arnold Winkelried Arnold Winkelried is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Irvine, California, USA
Posts: 14,822
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maus Magill View Post
One problem is that your sentence isn't grammatically correct, ether. You're missing a comma. When I plug in, "Men are men, and men should clean the kitchen," I get:
Stop it! You're messing up a good thing. I liked the first translation much better and was going to show it to my wife tonight.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-31-2012, 08:28 PM
gardentraveler gardentraveler is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 8,853
And...the translation into German isn't grammatically correct either... It's missing a verb. A grammatical translation would have been:
Männer sind Männer und Männer sollten die Küche sauber machen.

German tends to befuddle Google translate pretty thoroughly, in my (limited) experience. I think it's a nice tool if you use it correctly (have a decent grasp of both languages and are looking for translation options), but it's not going to magically get you a perfect translation of anything mildly complicated.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02-02-2012, 04:13 PM
Malacandra Malacandra is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Huh. Seems to have been fixed now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Google Translate
Männer sind Männer, und Männer sollten in der Küche zu reinigen.
Heh. Translating that back, it's "...men should be cleaned in the kitchen"

Last edited by Malacandra; 02-02-2012 at 04:14 PM..
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:21 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.