The Good, the Ugly and Google translate.

Some people just don't give up, do they?
Speaking no Korean, or at least pretending to speak no Korean in Korea can come handy at times. Take for instance the time I needed to find my way to a new lecture building to “Introduction to Public Administration” (I know..i know). Since I was just too damn lazy to find out where the hell the building was located, I decided to call out to a total stranger and give her my impressive “I-don’t-speak-korean, need-to-find-my-way-to-class, SOS” sign language stuff. POP, before I knew it, she was escorting me to the front of my class. It’s like a GPS automated navigation robot using where you punch in the code.

#include <mykoreanisshit.h>
Int main (void)
askf (“Find my class for me?”); //add smile.
return 0;

And off you arrive at your class. In my defense, we went for coffee later. Win-win.

But there are times, well, most of the time, when you wish your Korean was a little better than “anyonghaseyo.” I am perhaps guilty of not learning the language but when you have online translating software like Google Translate, why go through all that trouble? Right? Right?

Depends really, on what text you are translating. I had my entire assignment done through google translate at times but the quality, as you would expect, isn’t quite sparkling.  Sometimes they are accepted, sometimes they are used as emergency toilet paper backups.

More recently though, I was working on my “Writing in Science and Technology” [they should add “In Korean” rather than just suspend it like that. Can be very misleading I tell you] and I was finding myself going to translate page more often than I wanted. Even the TA sends in me replies in Korean when I write to him in English. It’s that bad.

So I needed to translate a text which was supposed to give me instructions for my next assignment and this is what I got:
Everyone has designated reader (2 per episode), and the general reader to read and reply to every form of peer review as the etl to dalahya. You specify more than 10 children, the general comment is that five months or more lines of criticism.
I like the part where everything seems to be ok..till the part where its in English and suddenly its…Swahili.
Etl to dalahya? Wtf. And then it gets even better. The 10 children part made me chock on my own spit.

I am not the only isolated prolific user though.
Last semester College Korean Prof Mrs…I forgot her name, lets call her park for the sake of argument,  Mrs. Park was telling the class about a student who spoke Korean with such swagger that it was hard for her to comprehend why his writing was so full of crap. As she later found, the student who I guess to be Kamasumba bro, was actually using google translate for his written assignments. The Prof claimed that she was highly “stressed” and she had “sleep disorder” while trying to figure out what the text actually meant.

Unfortunately though that’s the price you pay and make others pay for being lazy.
Now then, back to preparing my exams for tomorrow with my old pal, translate.
btw, he says hi.


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