Annals of Machine Translation

A comparison (click to enlarge or follow link) of various computerized machine translations available on the web, courtesy of the New York Times.

7 responses to “Annals of Machine Translation

  1. This reminds me how a French news agency once translated Khrushchev’s reference to “кузькина мать” as “maman de Kuzka”.

    • What exactly is meant by Kuzkin’s Mother? I’ve heard it is some sort of physical blustering like I’m going to kick you to the moon or some such thing. Khruschev famously said it during the Cuban Missile Crisis I think.

      • “Я тебе покажу кузькину мать”, literally translated “I will show you Kuzka’s mother”, is a Russian idiom that means something like “I’ll whup your ass” (which can be a physical threat but also an all-purpose bluster). In my remembrance, Khrushchev used it to say that the Soviet Union will overtake the US in agricultural output.

        Kuzka is a diminutive form of male given name Kuzma or Kozma which was common among Russian lower classes until the 19th century but today is almost out of use.

      • “Я тебе покажу кузькину мать” means “I will teach you a lesson you’ll never forget”.

      • I was a small child during the Cuban crisis but vividly remember how my two grandmothers excitedly talked about that Kuzka and his mother. Of course I had no clue, but both grannies came from the Czar-occupied part of Poland and knew some Russian. What memories this brings!

        I don’t think Mr. Khruschev referred to agricultural matters, but I may be wrong. Memories fade as time goes by

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