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It is rare to see free on-line translation programs criticized by people other than translators. But Mitch Ratcliffe, a ZDNet blogger, is a serious baseball fan, and the Google translation of a Japanese source text offendes his sports sensibilities.

With garbled information, we’re more likely to become confused and misunderstand one another. Google translation plays the role not of interpreter but comic. Google’s playing the role of a kind of Borat making fun of how little we want to understand others. Calling this “translation” is like believing Borat is a serious journalist.

He suggests that Google remove the service until it shows some reasonable results and doesn’t leave people “gesturing dumbly, like a Star Fleet crew whose universal translator is broken.”

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