Boffins from Google have been taking top honours in the tricky field of translation from one human language to another - even languages that the eggheads don’t understand themselves. Google’s trick is to use the internet as a vast Rosetta stone, reasoning that the millions of documents that are already available in multiple languages provide sufficient statistical evidence for mapping, say, Arabic to Chinese without any trace of comprehension along the way. Apparently the results are highly impressive, as long as you steer clear of the kind of loose, informal, freewheeling, jargon-laden chatter to be found in blogs and newsgroups. Alas, if Arab or Chinese speakers want a proper grasp of talking crap, they’ll have to learn English.
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