What are the most common errors of Deepl(MTL)?

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#1 by zakashi
2021-11-16 at 06:00
< report >I'm giving a try to play games with Deepl, a machine translator, and hopefully learn Japanese faster in the process, that's how I mainly learned English, so I want to know what are the most common errors of Deepl when it translates a text, or MTLs in general, just to keep me aware of what's reliable, what types of texts these tools are the worst at? Thanks in advance.
#2 by Aresia
2021-11-16 at 08:15
< report >The most glaring problem are off course, pronouns. DeepL also sometimes spawned repetitive nonsense, but that could be fixed. Just don't expect MTL to be reliable when it comes to unconventional sentence without context.
#3 by Chiiko
2021-11-16 at 12:28
< report >Pronouns: in Japanese, you don’t specify the pronouns when you know the subject. Example: "I ate an apple" would be "ate an apple" in Japanese. But a machine doesn’t know the context and will add random pronoun: I/you/she/... ate an apple.

Some examples from Rune Factory 5 (I forgot to keep the original sentences in Japanese):
DeepL: " You might get along with you. " -> correct translation: " I might get along with you. "
DeepL: " You said you were interested. " -> correct translation: " I said that you’re interesting. "
DeepL: " I don’t know. " -> correct translation: " You should understand. "

I've also noticed a problem with katakana.
Katakana is mainly used for foreign word so MTL will keep the word in romaji without translating. But some characters will use katakana for stylistic choice, like Livia in Rune Factory 5 for example, who uses katakana instead of kanji:

Livia: " ジョウダンだよ " (with kanji: 冗談だよ = It's a joke). -> DeepL: " It's Jordan. "
Livia: " ここはトクシュナバショ" (with kanji: ここは特殊な場所 = This is a special place) -> DeepL: " This is Tokushuna Basho. "
DeepL: " You should pay attention when shuukaku approaches. "

Shuukaku means harvest but she uses katakana, Google Translate thinks it’s a foreign word and will no translate it. When this happens use a dictionary like Jisho: link

DeepL is not perfect but it's better than Google Translate. Good luck!Last modified on 2021-11-18 at 11:30
#4 by zakashi
2021-11-16 at 12:35
< report >Thank you so much guys.
#5 by gvbn
2021-11-16 at 13:01
< report >
I'm not sure what to make of this, but I'm sure it's a good idea.

If you google the above "translation" you'll get find a bunch of MTL'd nonsense, mostly light novels. It seems to be its stock phrase when things get too difficult.Last modified on 2021-11-16 at 13:04
#6 by Aresia
2021-11-16 at 13:26
< report >#3 Now that we're mentioning Jisho, I have a problem that I can't no matter how much I struggle, to use the handwriting feature correctly. Does anyone else have this problem? Or was I just suck at phone writing and have to use stylus. I haven't tried using mouse and computer, though.
#7 by Mutsuki
2021-11-16 at 14:27
< report >#6, i can't make it work either. i think it might be because it relies on stroke order too much (which i always mess up lol). i'm also too blind and slow to use the radical select option too. instead i use google translate to transcribe characters i can't read because the handwriting recognition in that is legendary; however badly you write it, it will pretty much always work out what you want, sometimes even if you never 'remove the pen from paper' as it were and scribble it down in one stroke, or you write the entire character on top of itself. i have no idea how it does it but it's magic.Last modified on 2021-11-16 at 14:38
#8 by Aresia
2021-11-16 at 14:38
< report >#7 Ah, so it's stroke order that is the problem? I never bothered to study something like that because yes, Google managed to recognize whatever scribbles I put in it without much difficulty.
#9 by Mutsuki
2021-11-16 at 14:40
< report >#8, actually i just tested and even breaking stroke order it could recognise a couple characters. it's just that it really sucks recognising even visibly clear handwriting. often a simple kanji might only be recognised in the 10th option or after. it might be looking for how it's actually written on paper (in the same way 令 looks pretty different in different fonts) by natives then.

i recommend my top technique of "guess the reading and pray you find it in the henkan list"Last modified on 2021-11-16 at 14:42
#10 by Aresia
2021-11-16 at 14:46
< report >#9 Wait, I brainfarted I didn't think to just use Textractor or something. I guess we're talking outside of VNs now.Last modified on 2021-11-16 at 14:50
#11 by Draconyan
2021-11-16 at 15:42
< report >@8: Various Japanese handwriting-recognising programs value stroke order and position much more than how whatever you wrote looks like in the end, so that's probably the issue. You can write something that would be completely unrecognisable by a human, but if the stroke order is correct you still get what you wanted.
At least stroke orders are fairly intuitive and consistent once you get an initial gist.Last modified on 2021-11-16 at 15:42
#12 by shinytentacool
2021-11-16 at 18:46
< report >It confuses pronouns and most importantly gender pronouns. It's funny how accepting the LGBT's made-up Xhe/They pronouns would inadvertedly solve this problem with DeepL

I've tried to think of a potential solution to this and you would really need a separate program recording lines into a history and characters into an encyclopedia. In other words an AI program. Interpreting a character's gender, and then assigning the correct pronoun each time they are brought up, which requires the AI to also correctly interpret when that character is being spoken to or brought up by someone else. Super monumental task
#13 by masturbator
2021-11-16 at 22:34
< report >not sure if deepl does it too but sometimes google translate will translate character names (mistaking them for the word)
i do not have anything else to add to the question in the title but i did want to comment on something zakashi
I'm giving a try to play games with Deepl, a machine translator, and hopefully learn Japanese faster in the process
no idea how effective that will be but i dont think there is any fast way to go about learning a language other than putting time into it daily
i personally started by getting down hiragana/katakana
then i moved on to a textbook to learn grammar but stopped about a fifth of the way in because i got sick of constantly having to look up kanji meanings
now my focus is completely on learning kanji and vocabulary...i spend 2-3 hours on this daily
probably wont be trying any japanese vn for real until i have gotten 2000 kanji down (the joyou list or whatever) and have worked through an introductory and intermediate text on the language...i can imagine this taking over 1000 hours

(btw i have said this before elsewhere but i only use mtl when i want to play a game to get off...i can recognize some of the japanese on my own but dopamine rather than studying is my focus lol)
#14 by c2k
2021-11-16 at 22:40
< report >lmao, MTL is not a good practicing learning Japanese in a literal sense since learning JP thru MTL is not effective plus it makes errors but from what I have experience using it, it helps you think what are the possible translation idea of the JP line. It's actually hard to do this when your no experience with any japanese words or characters
#15 by flvbycjctnheheh
2021-11-20 at 01:35
< report >@14 That's bullshit. MTL gives you the right translation or close to it in 90% of cases. As long as you have a basic understanding of Japanese you'll be fine understanding most of it. It's good at improving your vocabulary and that's the one most important thing when learning ANY language. Exceptions like described here are rare. For example how many games have the shit @3 described when a character uses freaking katakana instead of kanji and hiragana? The main problem with MTL is that it tries to follow English language rules, which are strange to begin with and very different from the simple rules of Japanese, instead of just doing the literal translation. Unless for some particular reason you want to learn kanji—which are pretty much useless if you want to, let's say, watch anime or actually talk Japanese—then MTL+Mecab is the way to go. If you want to learn kanji then Wanikani is the way to go but it doesn't increase your vocabulary that much.Last modified on 2021-11-20 at 01:38
#16 by Mutsuki
2021-11-20 at 02:09
< report >#15, i'm not here to voice my opinions on the mtl debate, but the kana swap is quite common. it can be used for a wide variety of reasons so it appears quite a lot.
#17 by flvbycjctnheheh
2021-11-20 at 02:42
< report >@16 I've played 100+ Japanese VNs (if you include the nukige genre) and haven't seen kana swap done other than for pronouns.
#18 by Aresia
2021-11-20 at 04:25
< report >#17 I've played only around 10 JVNs and have seen many gibberish kana swap making gibberish MTL even more gibberish.
#19 by flvbycjctnheheh
2021-11-20 at 07:08
< report >@18 Seems like BS just to make a counter-point. As I said, pretty much always kana swap is used for pronouns only. It's definitely not one of the most common mistakes MTL makes. Moreover, JParser understands them easily so who cares. Using just MTL alone is silly, it should be combined with JParser or Mecab or original text in VNR. So when mtl is wrong you could just translate everything word by word. Modern MTL is far from being gibberish, it's just not grammatically correct but this is something you can easily get used to.

On another note, the thing with pronouns is a joke, too. If you have a basic understanding of Japanese then MTL messing up with the pronouns shouldn't be a problem at all.Last modified on 2021-11-20 at 07:19
#20 by cubky
2021-11-20 at 07:37
< report >#17 Looking at your list of finished games, I see Amayui. So that makes you a liar one way or the other, since the game definitely had swap into katakana. As do most Eushully games.
Pretty fucking common outside of Eushully games as well.¨

And on the topic of MTLs, so I am not completely offtopic with this post - not sure it is a good idea to ask people using MTLs for what the problems are - those people are not really in a situation to be able to correctly answer the question considering they use MTLs to understand a language they themselves cannot handle.Last modified on 2021-11-20 at 07:45
#21 by flvbycjctnheheh
2021-11-20 at 10:11
< report >@20 Do you know the meaning of the word "pronoun"? I've played at least 5 Eushully games in Japanese and yes they have katakana switch but only for pronouns (like ore, anta, etc) and never instead of actual kanji. Or if even it ever happened, it was so insignificant that I haven't even noticed. If you need mtl to know basic words like pronouns then it's too early for you to read MTL. It requires at least some basic understanding. Though honestly if someone watched 50+ anime titles, it should be already subconscious.

Your statement that "people can't handle a language" is funny AF. There are many different levels of understanding a language. Japanese and Chinese would be considered very easy languages if they didn't have kanji characters. Their grammar is ridiculously easy compared to western languages, there're no locative cases that you need to remember for each word like in Slavic languages or a bunch of useless time tenses like in English. So you can learn Japanese well enough to read vns and watch anime very fast as long as you skip the "learning kanji" step that is the most time-consuming (and not that useful), which is exactly what MTL and JParser are used for.Last modified on 2021-11-20 at 10:23
#22 by cubky
2021-11-20 at 10:54
< report >#21 I very much doubt you read 5 Eushully games if you did not notice a single time that characters in the games that get corrupted by supernatural means speak in a mixture of kanji and katakana. Or you just did not follow your own suggestion to keep looking at the original text all the time. Just to drive this home, here is a timestamped clip directly from Amayui.
In any case, no reason to continue wasting my time discussing anything with someone lying through their teeth.
#23 by flvbycjctnheheh
2021-11-20 at 10:56
< report >@22 Lol, dude. I've completed the first Amayui long before AP5 has been released and I never bothered replaying the game with it. Anyway, if you want to say that this kanji switch is super common and is in every game, then you're the one who's lying through his teeth. It's something extremely rare and let's be honest, it doesn't really make things harder for anyone who knows the basics.

And as you can see in the video, kanji are still used for most actual words. If as you said I've missed it "because I only read MTL without the original text" it would mean that MTL isn't affected by kana switches in any significant way. Perhaps it's just a DeepL thing, as I prefer GT.Last modified on 2021-11-20 at 11:00
#24 by avsgepk88
2021-11-20 at 11:00
< report >Why not just use Yomichan? You'll never learn Japanese if you use MTL.
#25 by flvbycjctnheheh
2021-11-20 at 11:08
< report >@24 I've learned English using MTLs. The same works for Japanese. It's the fastest way to expand your vocabulary. Also, JParser is literally Yomichan for visual novels.