bq. In 1855 two Portuguese translators, José da Fonseca and Pedro Carolino, produced an English phrasebook so unbelievably bad that it was reprinted for half a century as a masterpiece of hilarity, under the title English as She is Spoke. Paul Collins of McSweeney’s Books has reprinted a selection from it, and it’s well worth picking up.
I thought it would be interesting to compare Fonseca and Carolino’s translations with Babelfish’s… consider it a test of the capacity of artificial stupidity.
Via the Baldie.
An example (Babelfish did quite well):
bq. Ainda não é tempo delas; mas os damascos brevemente estarão maduros.
It isn’t the season for them; but the apricots will soon be ripe.
ES: It is not the season yet; but here is some peaches what does ripen at the eye sight.
B: Still it is not time of them; but the damson plums briefly will be mature.