Have you fixed your online, auto translate!?

It all looks almost entirely error free…, TRANSLATION OF FRENCH INCOME TAX FORMS!! …and my tablet, an ARCHOS, is a cheap machine and old, too… So yours might do it all SO much better. Good luck people…it will soon be too late to worry any more!..here you go!

How do I get Google to translate a page?
Turn translation on or off*

  1. On your computer, open Chrome.
  2. At the top right, click More Settings.
  3. At the bottom, click Advanced.
  4. Under “Languages,” click Language.
  5. Check or uncheck “Offer to translate pages that aren’t in a language you read.”

What looks almost error free? This post doesn’t make any sense without some context​:disappointed::disappointed::disappointed:

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SORRY, Dan!! BOO TO IDIOTS I SCREWED UP … Now corrected…full instructions…its effing brilliant!! And does a lot of languages😄 some don’t work…like Japanese…forget it…prob many others…but French!!! Like DREAM!

Still don’t understand - What on earth is the purpose of these posts - a calm rational explanation might help.

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:blush: you sound quite sniffy, Dan!
You know ,… These Posts.!!..can be blocked, I think, if you mean mine! I feel that translate info is immensely useful to know…for anyone not having the information!

It’s a set of instructions for enabling auto-translate for languages in the Chrome browser. Jeanette has obviously found this useful in completing her tax forms.

It uses Google Translate which, personally, I barely trust to manage the vocab which I don’t understand in online newspaper articles or the communauté newsletter, much less legal documents but it’s certainly better than nothing.

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Sorry for being sniffy, the pollen count is very high here today and playing hell with my sinuses. Oh,! And l see you have now added some context to your original post - The Open Chrome etc… was not there when l first read it so it made little or no sense.

And Thank you for letting us all know we can use our computer’s to translate - it’s amazing isn’t it. I can even talk in English into my phone and it will then translate that into any language - the technology is stunning - l can’t begin to imagine what strides it will make in the future - Let’s just hope it is for the benefit of humankind

Paul…my French stinks in any conversation deeper than a cm…but do tell me? Do you find it inadequate with regard to the tax forms? It seems pretty close to 100% a1 to me. Sheer joy after hours of popping eyes and brain.

Thanks Paul - Until Madame Wood passes l will continue to rely on her interpretation and translation skill.

Dan! Sniffy is FINE! I can take a level 8 or 9 verbal abuse, sans probs. Life is too hard if you can’t, I think. :grin: and, I’m sure there are very few peeps on SF who don’t know about the auto translate thing, but Im thinking of twits of my own level, not yours!:innocent:

Grumpy old woman she say, if your French is poor how do you assess whether it is 100% or 50% or less correct?
You have a phrase in French. You have a phrase of a similar length in English. How do you know they are saying the same thing?
In maybe 98% of cases they probably are, but what about the other 2%? When machine translation gets it wrong it’s very often because it’s got confused with the negatives, because the French/English grammar rules on negatives are very different, so in fact it’s saying the exact opposite.
It used to leave me incredulous when people put blind faith in MT for anything important, but I know a lot of people do it.

There’s a whole new category sprung up in the translation industry called MTPE, or “machine translation post editing”. Very occasionally I take MTPE jobs just to see how MT is coming on (bear in mind that these translations are produced by professional agencies who use more sophisticated MTs than those that are available for free). These days it’s good, but it’s nowhere near perfect.


You’re not a grumpy old woman, you are a mine of vital information and a zero time waster. My French is poor in the passing of A levels…but if I look at a page of info from a tax department, to attempt to read the French, then to fail, and then to see the grammatical translation, and to be able to follow it, at all, and understand almost every thought expressed, that says to me…
. Very Good Translation.
Have you tried it Anna? If you say it is trash. Then I think it is likely to actually be trash. But it is very readable, coherent, ace, in fact. Reading French, is always, in my experience, a whole lot easier, that speaking it, or writing it yourself. In any language maybe. I worked that out about 100 years ago, skool Latin translations. There was never any way for me, a zero homeworker, to pass Latin exams, unless I concentrated on Latin to eng, not vv. And came nearly topp. Useless of course, just an exam trick. Look no emoji! And not many dots!

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As I’m a UK resident I only have to wrestle with the HMRC forms so I can’t say.

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I didn’t say MT is trash. I said it’s good but it makes a certain percentage of errors. If you have the ability to spot them, then it’s a useful tool.
One example:
à moins que vous n’ayez = unless you do not have.
Right or wrong?

Even grumpy old wimmen have a sense of humour, and I enjoyed this:


Thank you, I appreciate that, and do you know what - I found your post really easy to read and understand!


Another issue with machine translation is lack of contextual and/or domain knowledge - here is a simple example from our town council meetings:

Google’s rendition is:

There are several problems even with this short example.

I mostly expected it to mistranslate prix as prices, not prizes - interestingly it avoids that mistake in the first sentence but not the second - certainly evidence that it can’t always use context even if it is right in front of it.

Otherwise it frequently produces contorted English because it is still driven by the French sentence structure and choice of vocabulary (I’ve made this point previously) - “advisable to validate the prizes” it’s actually quite hard understand that bit of broken English - perhaps “Each year we agree to approve the prizes” would be a reasonable stab.

“Flower Houses Competition Edition 2019” - ik, I’d go with “The 2019 village garden competition”.

Even better example (put me out of my misery Anna, I can’t parse that :slight_smile: ).

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In my day to day work I use a professional MT tool that cost the best part of 1,000€, and it still doesn’t do the job for me - it helps, it speeds me up, but I could never just run a document through it and deliver it to the client.

One of the things my tool can do is, automatically consult range of free translation engines, and also as many paid ones as I want to subscribe to, and display all the different suggestions on the screen one under the other so that I can pick the best one. Even then it’s relatively rare that I use one of the suggested translations without tweaking it a bit.

I’m in no way dissing automatic translators, they’re amazing, but don’t expect too much of them.

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You put me on the spot there Paul because I couldn’t for the life of me have explained the grammar behind it, but I have now discovered that this “ne” is called a “ne explétif”, and lawless grammar gives a good explanation:

Your example was very interesting because it translated prix correctly in one context and incorrectly in the next line, and it’s exactly the same with phrases like the one I gave - it can get it right half the time and wrong half the time, which arguably makes it even more dangerous because you see it’s done it right once and assume it will always get it right and let your guard down.


I don’t think my ability in French is quite good enough to assimilate that lesson fully yet.

So “à moins que vous n’ayez” means “unless you have”

Interestingly both Google and Deepl get it correct (at least with the phrase in isolation).

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As above - usually they do get it right, they obviously do know the rules, but if it comes in a fairly complex sentence where you have other verbs, some in the negative and some not, they sometimes lose the plot and put the wrong verbs into the negative. Which can totally skew the meaning.
But that’s true in general - the simpler the sentence, the better the result. When you get past one or two subordinate clauses (sorry, you’ve put me into jargon mode now), they start wobbling.