New powerful language translator challenges Google

This looks good, I’ve just tested it with some challenging phrases and it’s surprisingly accurate, pretty good with the profane too!


Yes it’s been making waves in the industry.
Be aware though that it learns all the time and keeps everything in its memory, so everything that you give it to translate will be processed and stored. If someone else then asks it to translate a similar sentence and it so happens that the sentence it translated for you is the closest match, it’s liable to offer them an exact reproduction - complete with any personal details that happen to be in it. So if you need to translate anything sensitive with your personal details that could identify you, best to remove the details to translate and put them back in afterwards. There’s another thread on here about identity theft I think… be careful out there folks :slight_smile:


A couple of quick tests show it to be about as good as GT for the texts that I chose - even good machine translators lack domain knowledge which can be critical and have a tendency to be too literal.

E.g. take this short sentence which was at the end of notification of some electrical work by Enedis in the village.

Pour que ces travaux puissent être réalisés en toute sécurité, nous vous rappelons que si vous deviez utiliser un moyen de réalimentation (groupe électrogène, alternateur sur tracteur,…), il est obligatoire d’ouvrir votre disjoncteur général ENEDIS (le positionner sur 0).

GT says
In order for this work to be carried out safely, we remind you that if you have to use a recharge medium (generator, alternator on tractor, …), it is obligatory to open your general circuit breaker ENEDIS (set it to 0)

DeepL says
To ensure that this work can be carried out in complete safety, we remind you that if you need to use a recharging device (generator unit, tractor alternator,…), it is obligatory to open your ENEDIS main circuit-breaker (position 0).

Both are pretty good - certainly good enough to get the overall meaning. Now I am a long way from fluent, say good solid GCSE standard, but there are a couple of things that, even in this very short example, are not quite there.

I can’t fault the first part of the sentence much except to note that DeepL does a slightly better job because it does not loose the “toute” like GT does.

I would not translate deviez as “have to” or “need to” but just as “should” because I think the sense is “in the case of you using” but it’s probably just style at that point.

However both fall down on “un moyen de réalimentation” because I don’t think the sense is correctly conveyed by a literal translation - you have to look at what is going on so I would go for “alternative power source” here.

Also, while accurate, “it is obligatory to” is a bit stiff in English.

Finally I think GT translates “le positioner sur 0” better because it keeps the active verb sense.

I think I would go for

To ensure that this work can be carried out in complete safety, we remind you that, should you use an alternative power source (generator, tractor alternator,…), it is necessary that you open your ENEDIS main circuit-breaker (set it to 0).

So, probably a bit better than GT, which BTW has also now moved to AI techniques for translation, but not a “night and day” difference.

It’s probably a good idea to run any example text through both and look carefully at where they differ.

Edit: “It is necessary” is a bit stilted as well. “You must” is probably better.

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Although I rather suspect the elephant in both the rooms is the “alternateur sur tracteur” - isn’t the correct term that be would actually be meaningful to someone who understands these things, “traction alternator”?
GT seems to think you put your alternator on a Massey Fergusson and DeepL seems to think that you borrow the alternator off your John Deere and that somehow manages to power up your house…

I could be talking bollox of course - desperately trying to convince myself that human translators still come out top :wink: but engineering ain’t my bag…

Yes, I glossed over that one myself :slight_smile:

It does illustrate that all-important domain knowledge - literally using a tractor’s alternator would not work as it is going to be 12 or 24V DC, not 230V AC, but it could be done with a converter. Alternatively (and more likely) it might be possible to drive a generator using the tractor’s power take off coupling - not being a farmer, however, I don’t know what is typically going to be available.

I suspect we need to forget farm tractors, I doubt that’s what “tracteur” means here. Think more general, as in the “tractor unit” that hauls a truck, as in “traction” engine… not specifical agricultural. A swift google suggests that a traction alternator is what they use on electric trains for instance, when electrical power is needed to make the thing keep moving, as opposed to the electrical power for eg a farm tractor that just has to start the motor and maybe run the lights. No doubt a specialist translator would know. So I guess the secret to being a translator in future is to specialise.

I agree although the area is pretty rural with lots of farms…

I think that it would refer to something like this:

I suspect that what is meant by this phrase in this particular set of circumstances is the AC current generator such as is often found on fairground haulage vehicles.
The ‘tractor’ part being a reference to the legal definiton of a ‘motor tractor’ which in the UK is :- “motor tractor” means a mechanically propelled vehicle which is not constructed itself to carry a load, other than the excepted articles, and the weight of which unladen does not exceed 7370 kilograms.
It’s one of those peculiar situations where the image that is immediately conjured in the mind by the word ‘tractor’ is not what is meant at all, as in this context the word ‘tractor’ has nothing whatsoever to do with agriculture.
Not that this matters one jot to our everyday lives of course. :slight_smile:

I would probably have taken it to mean “mobile generator”.

What I like best about DeepL is the facility to choose tu or vous. If I wanted to invite a French friend to dinner using Google, typing in “Wouldst thou like to come to dinner on Thursday” always seemed rather silly.

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