July 23, 2011
Baidu's love-hate relationship
Aha. I thought the seemingly incomplete title might grab you. Here's a post from Victor Mair over at the Language Log blog about how Baidu's new Chinese-English machine translation service refused to translate "我恨中国" ("I hate China") accurately, insisting on rendering it "I love China". Other experiments with the Chinese text for "I love China," "I love America," and "I hate America" were all translated accurately, so it definitely seems like something odd was going on. I say "was" because commenters, being commenters, immediately tried it themselves and found that the problem had been fixed. I of course also tried some experiments, too, using different pronouns and different synonyms for "love" and "hate". Alas, for some reason the system just hangs and refuses to translate at all. Probably something wrong with my connection.
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