Lost in (Bing) Translation

You know what sucks worse than Google Translate? Bing translator. At least when it comes to Thai. To be fair, translating Thai to English is a difficult task for any translator, digital or human, for reasons I suspect have to do with a dumbing down of the Thai language parallel to trends we can observe in English. People often make up words in Thai, because they no longer have a grounding in Sanskrit – the basis of their language. It’s sort of like the way a lot of native English speakers misuse words or create imprecise word forms because they no longer learn Latin or Greek. 

Anyway, I’ll end the boring conjecture and analysis there to bring you to my point. Whenever my Thai friends post something on Facebook and discussions follow, I’m forced to rely on Bing’s utterly unreliable translations. The result is gibberish that makes me laugh. So I’m going to try to start a series on this blog site featuring some of these gems. Below is the first installment.

  
 See you, come when, teary this short, look, don’t see it. Friends Pao get jumped like not humble sankhara music festival serviced!

Wan Pao: Why take a picture to jerk down chewing on you sweet looks alone.

Rishina Neung: Friends, this is your husband you’re tall. Have angle you look at the ugly it totally 555

Pao Wan: I’m ugly more than the other.


Although giving a rough, sensible translation probably spoils the fun of Bing’s nonsense, I think for this first installment it will be necessary to properly illustrate how wrong Bing gets it.

Pao Wan: Only “Mr. Sweet” [my boyfriend] looks good. I look ugly.

Rishina Neung: Because your “husband” [your boyfriend], is tall and took the picture, it was a bad angle for both of us. Hahaha*

Pao Wan: I look uglier than you.

*Since the Thai word for “five” is ha (with a falling tone), the Thais use “555” in text and social media as a shorthand for laughter (“hahaha”).

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