November 19, 2005

Accuracy in Race Names

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at November 19, 2005 12:01 PM

This morning's Stinson Beach Trail Run would have been more aptly named the Mt. Tamalpais Trail Climb (Which Happens To Start At Stinson Beach). This was a course so steep that at one point it was necessary to climb a ladder to continue. The t-shirt depicts runners going up a gentle incline; this would be accurate if I wore it while lying on my side. It was a nice place to run, as it's basically the same forest as Muir Woods. But next time I'm bringing a sherpa.

Tags: California, Life, Running, Sports

I read the title and was hoping for a much juicier entry, as I was thinking of race as it applies to humans. I'm fully awake. I swear.

Posted by: Mason | November 19, 2005 12:52 PM

Which distance did you do?

I ran twenty but it was the first such run on my new blood pressure meds... felt like I was carrying a piano much of the way.

Posted by: JSpur | November 19, 2005 1:32 PM

I just did the 12k. I had been considering a longer distance but given how much of it was straight up I'm glad I stuck with the short one.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | November 19, 2005 2:09 PM

Você tem algum grau de parentesco com o sobre nome HIME?

Um grande abraço e se puder me responda.
Brasil, dia 21 de novembro de 2005

Posted by: leonardo | November 20, 2005 6:52 PM

Sorry, I don't speak Portuguese. According to Babelfish, this guy said:

"You have some degree of kindred with the one on name HIME? A great one I hug and if he will be able answers me."

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | November 20, 2005 7:01 PM

Mmmm, Babelfish seems to have trouble with tenses. It's also missing out on context. Has anybody attempted to make an auto translator that incorporates context?

Shouldn't the second sentence be more like "A great hug if you can answer me." (like in ending a letter or something) Babelfish seems to also have done this a bit literally.

(I'm basing this on Spanish, so I can make similar translation mistakes really easily.)

I think that 'sobre nome' means 'last name' although I don't remember seeing 'sobre' used that way in Spanish. (I think I've seen 'su nombre de familia' instead.) The 'sobre la mesa' as in 'on the table' is also what Babelfish did.

For an amusing exercise, write something in English, convert it to a few different languages in one of these translators, and then convert it back to English and compare. The results are usually highly amusing.

Posted by: Mason | November 20, 2005 7:45 PM

I actually did what Mason suggested with my bio on my website. The result was beyond funny.

And greetings to Leonardo in Brazil.

Posted by: JSpur | November 21, 2005 4:51 AM

Not translation per se, but I belive IBM's ViaVoice voice recognition software uses a loose sense of context (strength of associations to recently recognized words) to either optimize the search space or choose between similar sounding words as it makes a match. I could be thinking of someone else's software though...

Posted by: Lemming | November 21, 2005 7:16 AM
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