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Thursday, July 21, 2011

What does Google translate do with this scripture passage?

Today I am assigning myself a project
Pick a verse in the scripture, any verse, and subject it to the translation test.
How well does it do at getting from the original Greek or Hebrew to the English?
For this project I will be using
and Google Translate from the Google Translation Bar in Google Chrome

Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a heart of flesh.
New English Translation

Ezekiel 36:26  וְנָתַתִּ֤י לָכֶם֙ לֵ֣ב חָדָ֔שׁוְר֥וּחַ חֲדָשָׁ֖ה אֶתֵּ֣ן בְּקִרְבְּכֶ֑ם
Westminster Leningradex Codex

Here is what Google Translate did with the Westminster Leningradex Codex
And let You Heart New And wind New You Among you And removed The-Heart Stone Your flesh And let You Heart Meat:

Ezekiel 36:26 καί δίδωμι σύκαρδία καινός καί πνεῦμα καινόςδίδωμι ἐν σύ καί ἀποαἱρέω ὁκαρδία ὁ λίθινος ἐκ ὁ σάρξ σύ καίδίδωμι σύ καρδία σάρκινος
Septuagint (LXX)

Here is what Google Translate did with the Septuagint
Ezekiel 36:26 kaί dίdomi sύ kardίa New kaί spirit New dίdomi This sύ kaί apoairέoson kardίa son lίthinos ex sonsάrx sύ kaί dίdomi sύ kardίasάrkinos

After just that much work I already can tell that Google Translate works much better on Hebrew scriptures than it does on Greek.
The other thing that comes to mind is this: http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/ has a search box that I have been using to work up all the blog posts on this site.
If I start out with δίδωμι, let google transliterate it for me to dίdomi and paste that version into the search box that I am using to work up the blog posts located here I don't get any search result. I have to remove the first ί in the transliterated word and type in a regular i instead "didomi" which results in this web page:
Therefore in those instances that I don't know how to transliterate, google translate can transliterate for me.

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