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Decent Translation

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Posts: 1462
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: I love history, but it's boring in school. Historical fiction brings it alive for me.
Preferred HF: Iron-Age Britain, Roman Britain, Medieval Britain
Location: New Orleans

Decent Translation

Post by Rowan » Mon June 6th, 2016, 6:15 pm

I'm currently reading Vivaldi's Virgins and there are Italian words sprinkled throughout the narrative, as one might expect. Some I have easily found the meaning of, yet others are elusive. Can anyone recommend a good translation site?

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Posts: 3547
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Re: Decent Translation

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon June 6th, 2016, 7:36 pm

I use google ttranslate. https://translate.google.com/ but I take their offerings with a grain of salt. They are very literal. My Spanish-speaking friend, who cleans houses, has clients who use it to leave her instructions.
She brought me one such note in puzzlement. It was a first-time job, and besides the ordinary requests--clean the bathroom, load the dishwasher, etc. -- was the odd statement, "the cleaners are under the sink, and the closet is empty."
Turns out, when the woman had written was, "The vacuum is in the closet."

Now if she had written 'vacuum cleaner' Google translate would have gotten it right. :mrgreen:

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Posts: 694
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Re: Decent Translation

Post by SGM » Mon June 6th, 2016, 10:23 pm

I have found Google translate good for non-idiomatic terms but it couldn't cope with a translation into French for 'red herring'. It came up with 'hareng rouge' which doesn't quite work in French. I don't know whether this works any better for that sort of thing but I was reading a French book on the Kindle and used its translation when stuck. Mind you I was only reading Harry Potter and it wasn't really a straight translation. However, I was also looking for a translation of a 19th century French expression used about the Duke of Buckingham's rout at Re which was something to do with selling shells. I asked a French expert who came up with more or less the same thing. I had to work out for myself that the best English meaning I could come up with was 'he cashed in his chips and went home'.
Currently reading - Emergence of a Nation State by Alan Smith

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