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Prompt is evil

These guys here http://www.promt.com/ have the gall to sell ‘machine translation’ tools.

I recently had the great misfortune to have to edit a piece of text on biology of all things that had been translated by Prompt.

It was perhaps the most horrible experience of my life to date.

I personally don’t have anything against machine translation as a branch of computer language processing research but what totally kills me is that the folks at prompt actually have the cheek to charge money for a ‘software product’ that takes a perfectly readable text in one language and then spews out unintelligible garbage in another. With that particular text I had to grapple with, I had the Russian original and I speak Russian so I was able to look at the original to figure out what the thing was all about and it was a genuine stroke of luck because if I hadn’t had the original to hand I would never in a million years have been able to understand the English gibberish produced by Prompt. This is total insanity.

My verdict is – never buy machine translation software, you won’t be able to get the gist after their translations as they promise you, unless it’s a very simple and short text (like email, but there’s free tools like google translate for those) you’ll just be sitting there, scratching your head and the only thing going through your head won’t be the ‘gist’ of the copy you’re staring at, it will be the phrase ‘ what the fuck is this shit?’

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