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language translation software (long)
From Jim Perry at Palmares of Elite Women Cycle Racers on 8 March '01
Occasionally, the issue of multilingual web sites crops up on this 
forum and it appears that some are attempting to achieve this by means 
of language translation software. I presume they know the pitfalls of
this. For others, the following passages may prove instructive.

There are two passages, each in three parts. First is the original
French version. This is followed by the English translation produced 
by Easy Translator, a fairly typical automatic translation 
program. Finally, there is my own final rendering, into English. 

For the record, I have no knowledge of French. My final (English) 
version is based solely on the language software product together 
with my general knowledge of language structure, my specific 
knowledge of two other languages (Russian and Latin), and my 
knowledge of cycling terminology. An individual who is fluent in 
both French and English checked the resulting translation and 
pronounced it good and correct, if a little loose in places.

The original French is from a web site built and maintained by Evelyne
Doré (aka Cycleve), a 13 year old girl from Quebec whose site is 
concerned with her experiences as a "minime" category bike racer. Her
site is now bilingual (French/English) based on my translations.

                http://www.multimania.com/cycleve/

Conclusion: I believe this language translation software (and probably
others as well) can work when translating from a foreign language into 
your native language, but you have to work in order to make 
it work. As for translation into a foreign language from your native 
language, you be the judge!

By the way, Evelyne's English is quite rough, and we have been 
communicating largely via the translation software.

Jim Perry

                      *          *          *

FRENCH ORIGINAL
> 3ième étape: critérium: Les filles de Beauport ont travaillé en équipe 
> et ont tout fait pour que je ne m'approche pas de la tête, mais dans 
> un sprint final d'enfer je termine 2ième. Mes copines de Laval étaient 
> toujours proches et Stéphanie Desrochers toujours présente pour rivaliser 
> mais aussi m'encourager! Puis il y a les fameux jeux d'habileté: j'en ai 
> jamais entendu parler et c'est la première fois que j'essais! Merci les 
> filles de Laval pour vos précieux conseils. 

EASY TRANSLATOR VERSION
3IÈME step: critérium: The girls of Beauport worked some equips and have
completely so that I do not approach head, but in a final sprint of hell
I finish 2IÈME.  My copines of Laval always were near and Desrochers
Stéphanie always presents for rivaliser but also to encourage me!  Then
there is the fine d'habileté games: I some never heard to speak and this
is the first time that I j'essais!  Thank-you the girls of Laval for your
precious counsels.  

FINAL ENGLISH VERSION
Stage 3: criterium. The girls from Beauport worked together as a team
so well that I was unable to get to the front but in the final all out
sprint, I was able to finish in 2nd place. My Laval friends were always
close by and Stéphanie Desrochers, although she is always a competitor,
nevertheless she also encourages me! Next were the well-renowned Skills
Games. I had never heard of them before this and this was the first time 
that I did the skills tests. Thank you to the girls of Laval for your 
precious advice

                      *             *              *

FRENCH ORIGINAL
> 2ième étape, clm, ou je termine 4ième tout comme à la dernière étape: 
> le critérium. Les jeux d'habileté sont ici optionnels, mais je m'essais 
> et c'est merveilleux comme je trouve ça facile maintenant! Merci M. 
> Vives pour tous vos conseils et votre présence! Maintenant, à cause 
> de vous, j'adore ces jeux! Je suis épuisée, la saison a été longue et 
> les entraînements rigoureux, c'est là que je me rends compte qu'il est 
> temps de se reposer! Cumulatif du Championnat: 3ième position et je 
> rencontre une très grande cycliste Lyne Bessette.

EASY TRANSLATOR VERSION
2IÈME step, clm, or I finish 4IÈME all as to the last step: the
critérium.  The d'habileté games are here optionnels, but I myself
m'essais and this is wonderful as I find that easy now!  Thank-you M.
Lively for all your counsels and your presence!  Now, to due to you, I
worship these games!  I am exhausted, the season was long and the severe
entraînements, this is there that I realize that it is times to rest! 
Cumulative of the Championship: 3IÈME position and I meet a very big
Bessette cyclist Lyne.  

FINAL ENGLISH VERSION
Stage 2: Time Trial. I finish in 4th place.

Stage 3: critérium.  The Skills Competition is optional here, but I am
taking part in them anyway. This is wonderful as I find them easy now!
Thank you Mr. Vives for your presence and all your advice! Thanks to you,
I now adore the Skills Games! I am exhausted; the season was long, the 
training rigorous, and now I have come to realize that it is time to rest! 
Overall for the Quebec Championships, I finished in 3rd place and I got to
meet a very great cyclist - Lyne Bessette (see photo).

(The photo can be found at http://www.multimania.com/cycleve/lyneetmoi.jpg)




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