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I'll compare the translation from Google Translate to Yahoo's Babelfish.  I've made my own judgement on this article, however you can read it to judge it by yourself

A sample text from BLCU press's book: Chinese For Beginners, page 296 was chosen.  This is a common joke available in many languages, even in Indonesian.  I believe some of the reader recognize this joke. 

The reason of testing the Chinese to English translation are: I understand both language, and Google and Yahoo both offer Chinese English translation!  I can't understand other languages such as French, Japanese etc, therefore I can't review the translation.

This is the text:

小王很早就会开车,一直想买一辆车。 工作十年后,他终于买了一辆富康牌小汽车。第一次开着自己 的新车,小王心情特别号。他把车开到了城外汽车很少的路上。

这时候,一辆“奔驰”车从旁边儿开过来,小王的车差点儿叫它撞上。开车的人一边开车以边从车窗里对小王喊:“你开过奔驰吗?开过吗?“很快就超过了小王。

小王的好心情全让这人弄坏了,他觉的自己叫人嘲笑了。他生气地想:“我的车不如你,我就要让你嘲笑吗?我一定要超过你!等你让我超过去的时候,看你说什么。“ 小王开得很快,没过一会儿, 那辆奔驰车就让他追上了。谁知道,开车的人又大声对小王喊:“你开过奔驰吗?开过吗?“ 小王也想对他喊,可是他还没喊出来呢,就已经叫奔驰车超过去了。

小王知道自己不个能超过那奔驰了,他也不想去追了。谁知道,又过了一会儿,小王看见那辆奔驰停在路旁边儿,一棵树叫它撞倒了。开车的人正坐在路旁边儿哭呢。

小王停了车,问那个人:“怎么了?” 那人看见小王,一边哭一边问:“先生,你开过奔驰吗?你知道奔驰的刹车在哪儿吗?这是我朋友借给我的车,让我撞坏了。“

That's it!  A simple short joke in Chinese.  I hope that you can enjoy it!  Here is the Indonesian variation, there are modifications however, instead of driving a Mercedes the 'bad guy' are driving a Harley Davidson!  I'm sorry that I can't put the Google Translate English translation, due to its website design.

Please click this link for this page in with the Chinese translated to all English using Yahoo! Babelfish translation and this link for Google Translate translation.  I will not write my translation here, since it would be ridiculous to see machine's translation compared to human translation.  However, you should judged by yourself the translation!

One thing for sure is:

  1. Google offers more languages translation options
  2. Google gives better formatted output when entering multi paragraph passage, however this is not a problem for translating a whole website.  Therefore when comparing the Yahoo translation, I compare it by using copy-pasting the text to its box.
  3. Google can read "奔驰" as Mercedes, while Yahoo can't, however Yahoo writes 富康 as Fukang instead of Google writing 富康 as Beverly
  4. Both offer funny translation which is confusing.  For example, "小王心情特别好" was translated by Google to "particulary its mood Wang" while Yahoo translates to "young Wang mood special number".  The correct translation would be: "Xiao Wang is in a very good mood".
  5. Google is more ergonomic with providing balloon that display what is the original text looks alike.
  6. Yahoo provides cute fish icon, that's the reason why I choose Yahoo! Babelfish toolbar before I compare Yahoo to Google!  Hahaha... 

The conclusion is: the Google translation is winning here.  What a pity that even Google's translation can't yet be used as a real source of translation!  I'm unsure about language other than Chinese.

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