View Full Version : Japanese Translation

06-10-2002, 10:05 PM
hey all,
Here's how the story goes...I have a very good Japanese friend who is going home to Japan after a three year foreign exchange, and i want to write her a letter in Japanese. Is there a program that will translate my english into japanese.
I've tried babel fish @ altavista.com but according to her the translation is pretty rough.
Sounds a bit far off, but is there an add on for Microsoft Word perhaps?
Or is Babel fish pretty much my only option, i have the Japanese whatchamacallit (descriptive huh :P) that makes it so you can display japanese characters.

oh i run windows 98...and my mum's still waitin for those ninety-eight windows :P LOL! (http://www.rinkworks.com/stupid/cs_os.shtml)

06-10-2002, 11:09 PM
We have been there before on this forum, and the answer is no.

Japanese doesnt machine translate well, and babelfish is rough because of this.

In japanese there are many variations not encountered in english and very dependent on the situation being described. Translation can suffer because of this.

An example would be "over there" would translate very differently depending on the relative difference in position, with one word for it being just out of reach, another for a little way off and another for further away. Another example is counting things, with one set of numbers for flat sheets, such as paper, another for long things like pencils....and on it goes.

I studied it for a year a long time ago, and that was only enough to get an appreciation of it, not fluency.

Its a facinating language and culture though