So I've known for a while that Google has tools to help translate things in other languages, but I just recently learned that you can send things to bots on google talk, and they will attempt to send you translations.
As a CS major, I fully understand the difficulties of creating an accurate translation tool, and I am by no means mocking the people who wrote this stuff. However, it is always entertaining to see what comes out...
So, I started with email@example.com, which is the Japanese to English one...
Ok, so I have to use actual Japanese script... I will provide romaji for people who cannot read the Japanese characters.
me: こんにちは (konnichiwa)
me: すごい (sugoi)
So far, so good.
me: にほんご (nihongo)
Not so good...
me: 日本語 (nihongo)
me: 猫 (neko)
me: 分かりません (wakarimasen)
ja2en: I do not know
me: わからない (wakaranai)
ja2en: Do not know
So, alright, we're cooking along, it's doing pretty well, except for ENGLISH. Let's try sentences.
Now, the problem here is, my Japanese is also horrible. I wanted to try to say "I left (forgot) my book on the Shinkansen." Whether I was doing it right or not, the translations were... fun.
me: 私の本は新幹線に忘れてしまいました (watashi no hon wa shinkansen ni wasurete shimaimashita)
ja2en: I forgot my book is the Shinkansen
me: わたしのほんがしんかんせんでわすれてしまいました (watashi no hon ga shinkansen de wasurete shimaimashita, all kana, no kanji)
ja2en: Shenyang is warm in my forgetting my KANSEN
me: 私の本が新幹線で忘れてしまいました (watashi no hon ga shinkansen de wasurete shimaimashita, with kanji)
ja2en: This is my bullet train to forget
me: 私は本を新幹線で忘れてしまいました (watashi wa hon o shinkansen de wasurete shimaimashita)
ja2en: I'm at a bullet train to forget
me: 私はほんを新幹線で忘れてしまいました (watashi ha hon wo shinkansen de wasurete shimaimashita, hon in kana, not kanji)
ja2en: I have a bullet train to forget Books
So, of course, now I have to try en2ja...
me: I left my book on the shinkansen
en2ja: 私は新幹線に左に私の本 (watashi wa shinkansen ni hidari ni watashi no hon...)
(So, the amusing part here is "hidari", which is left as in "left or right")
me: I forgot my book on the shinkansen
en2ja: 本を忘れた新幹線 (hon o wasureta shinkansen)
(... which is like... I don't even know. The book on the forgotten shinkansen, maybe?)
I think, perhaps, we still have a long way to go...