Interview on Berlin Television

6 Jun

©Ines Barwig(Image ©Ines Barwig)


Berlin’s public broadcasting station rbb has just aired a report on Painting On Scars, which you can read about and watch here.

For those of you not fluent in German, I advise you against using GoogleTranslate. As a professional translator, I’ve always considered the service a bit of a rival, but now we’re talking full-blown war. Because while any half-educated human Germanist could tell you that the rbb report translates into English as “Short-Statured – Getting Taller Through Operations,” Google says:





15 Responses to “Interview on Berlin Television”

  1. khanrose123 June 6, 2015 at 9:34 pm #


  2. anijioforlawrence June 6, 2015 at 11:51 pm #

    Reblogged this on xdayschocolate.

  3. Jim Grey June 7, 2015 at 1:42 pm #

    As a former translator, I always thought Google Translate would be a great place to start to take away so much of the drudgery — but that a pro translator would always need to finish the job! Your example is great evidence for that.

    I first saw this technology in use in 1989, at an Air Force base in the US. It had just been declassified. I’m surprised that it hasn’t gotten much better in the 26 years since!

    I haven’t had much opportunity to use my German since about that time, but I was delighted that I understood about 80% of the television story about you. What a remarkable journey you’ve had.

    • Emily Sullivan Sanford June 7, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

      That’s very kind of you to say!

      I do know translators who use the service as the first step in the process and then do their own refining. The universal credo among them is: “NEVER use it to translate *from* your first language into a foreign one.” So perhaps my warning should be extended to Germans seeking to discuss the piece in English…

  4. mummpei0 June 8, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

    Ser gut?!

  5. snoopyfan852004 June 18, 2015 at 8:22 pm #

    Reblogged this on snoopyfan852004.


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