Does Greece Have Money or Not? It Depends on the Translation!

Like you probably know, money has been a hot topic in the European politics lately. If someone has been wondering why Finland is so critical against lending more money to Greece without collaterals, here could be the reason.

The Greek prime minister Papandreou has said: “Υπάρχουν χρήματα”. Because I don’t understand Greek I used machine translation to find out what that means. First I translated it with Google Translate to English and found out that it means “there is money”.

Does Greece have money? Google Translate tell you that.
Does Greece have money? Google Translate has one opinion.

According to Google Translate the situation in Greece is not totally hopeless. But just to double-check, I translated the Greek sentence to Finnish with Bing Translator. This time the outcome was less promising: The Finnish translation “ei ole rahaa” means “there is no money” in English.

Does Greece have money? Bing has another opinion.
Does Greece have money? Bing Translator has another opinion.

Apparently Finnish politicians have been using Bing Translator because obviously lending money to someone who is broke is not wise, at least not without collaterals! Although it seems like it, probably these translations are not Google and Microsoft’s official statements about the financial situation in Greece. All this proofs is that there still are some weaknesses in automatic translation, translation quality estimation is important when using a machine translator and one should use machine translation correctly.

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Published by

Multilizer / Niko Papula

I am managing director of Multilizer, a Finnish software company specialising in software for enhancing translation quality, speed and cost.

3 thoughts on “Does Greece Have Money or Not? It Depends on the Translation!”

  1. Very interesting finding ;-)), especially because it deals with a rather prominent topic these days…
    May I use it in my speech on Machine Translation at the Tekom this year (of course with a proper reference)?
    Thanks and regards
    Gabriele

  2. Thank you for your commant Gabriele!
    This is indeed an interesting aspect to the topic. 🙂
    Please feel free to use it in your speech.
    Reagards,
    Iina

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