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August 7, 2009

Google Translate Equilibrium

A fun way to use machine translation services is to start with a text, translate it in a different language and then translate the result in the original language. Translation Party extends this idea by repeating the translation until the text is no longer modified. The service uses Google Translate's API and it translates English texts into Japanese and then back in English.

{ via Waxy Links }


  1. Might I suggest that you try:
    A fool and his money are soon parted.

  2. I think that Japanese is not working great for translation..
    I think better Equilibrium were be in Spanish.

  3. the phrase "do infinite loops occur" doesn't reach an equilibrium. Is this a coincidence?

  4. Oh this should be done in Latin.
    That would be awesome!

  5. It made me smile :) Quote from BBC: "Like many young boys, Khidir loves playing with toy cars and wants to be a policeman like his father when he grows up.". Result: "His father and I are in the car, I was a boy, growth Khidir I love to play with toys.".

    And the best one (one of steps) - "I have many young boys in the police car, his father and growth Khidir I love to play with toys."

  6. I typed: I'm wondering if you can find an equilibrium in this one!
    I got: If one or two days in March, for example, you can find your balance!

  7. Why the hell doesn't it work in opera?!? Most of google apps do not work in opera browser, even though it is one of the most popular browser used. X-(

  8. made a similar, silly game of Telephone with different text translation services including Google Translate, check it out -

  9. there are fleas in the shower -> Free showers !!!

  10. Translation is sensitive to capitalization and punctuation:

    There are fleas in the shower. -> The flea has a shower.

    In some way this even makes sense.

  11. Try this -
    A penny saved is a penny earned.

    This will show you the result when you can't find equilibrium.

  12. it would also be nice to do serial translations in several languages, and at the end translate it back into the original language again. must give weird results.

  13. What is the most steps you've gotten? I have 14.
    When I type in "Do infinite loops occur?", it has only two steps! Perhaps you have to use proper punctuation.

  14. This is great.

    Try this one: "I like you"

    It only takes 6 steps, but you may be surprised at the results!

  15. After a couple of dead ends and restarts with text partway to equilibrium:

    "When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."


    "If, of course, God is a resolution that is connected to a power source, the Declaration of Independence appropriat appears to respect the political world of bushels"

  16. Real-life usage statistics show that opera is not one of the "most popular browser used", not even close.

  17. WoW! (51 steps)

  18. This one stops just before reaching equilibrium:

  19. The example I always use is (heading from the NY Times):
    "In Japan, secure jobs have a cost"

    translated to Japanese and back using Google translate:
    "In Japan, CEO Steve Jobs, the cost of secure"

    Google decided to ADD Steve Jobs to the sentence !! this is the result of "statistics based translation"

    I am working with, we are a human based translation service with over 8000 professional translators.
    The above example shows people the real value of machine translation :)

  20. "May the force be with you" becomes "June 5, 2007"

  21. @David,
    If you show an example, show one that really botches up.
    Using Google Translate on "In Japan, secure jobs have a cost" from English to Japanese to English results in:
    "In Japan, secure employment," the cost

    Using Translation party
    In Japan, secure jobs have a cost
    reaches equilibrium with:
    In Japan, the cost to maintain the employment of
    Apparently the use of quotes makes a huge difference.

    Note the sentence with quotes:
    "In Japan, secure jobs have a cost"
    when trough these stages (omitting the Japanese translations):
    "In Japan, secure employment," the cost
    Japan is in "employment," cost
    Japan "jobs," the cost
    Japan, "Apple CEO Steve Jobs said," cost
    Japan, "Apple CEO SUTIBUJOBUZU the CEO," and cost
    Japan, "Apple's CEO, SUTIBUJOBUZU the CEO," and cost
    and reaches equilibrium with:
    Japan, "Apple's CEO, SUTIBUJOBUZU the CEO," and cost

    This does not mean I disagree with your claim, I just want to show one always needs to be very careful with examples.

  22. Finally we can understand:
    All your base are belong to us.

  23. In Computing Science, this is called a fix-point rather than an Equilibrium. Kleene has proved that such a fix-point always exists for all computer programs although you may not be able to find it in finite time.

  24. Try =D

  25. I tried:

    shut up, you will do as I say, I know things, get the hell away!

    and got the equalibirium:

    HOMUARON is very scary for me!

    which is hilarious :) on the way towards equalibirium, I got a few funny intermediate ones, such as

    Alone at home or as someone says, I, in close proximity, I have a terrible time!


  26. He.

    Mammon slept. And the beast reborn spread over the earth and its numbers grew legion. And they proclaimed the times and sacrificed crops unto the fire, with the cunning of foxes. And they built a new world in their own image as promised by the sacred words, and spoke of the beast with their children. Mammon awoke, and lo! it was naught but a follower. --from the Book of Mozilla.

    It reaches equilibrium at:

    King-size bed. The number of veterans of the animal world. Tuesday, crop prices, subsidies, is a cunning fox. I'm listening to the news you need to establish a new world order of animals which are committed in the words of the sacred image of your children. King, the arousal, the maximum LO! Not adhere to it.

  27. Cute. Try: Hardly any love is given to your mom.

  28. -No equilibriums:

    Bear eats bear
    Cat hunts mice

    -On the other hand "Cat eats cat" reaches equilibrium point after 3 steps.
    But "cat kills cat" does not(lol?).

    I just love this game xDDD.


  30. @Kophieps Check it out, serial translations then back to the original language:

    Did it as part of a school project :)


  32. John 3:16 translates somehow into numbers and numbers.

    "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

    "If the eternal life-giving one single shot 111111111111 11111111 to register two people dead, he is using his two worlds of the Divine, one, one One 1111111 is 11111111."

  33. "Equilibrium" of a translation...? What the heck is this? I read the example & now it makes even less sense. It starts out as a regular sentence & then just gets weirder & weirder each time. And the final translation makes no sense at all!!

  34. Try :

    One is not two


  35. lol the sun and moon are everyone's problems i will change them


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