ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Posts Tagged ‘netizens

Of Cricket, Suresh, Sachin and Serbian

with 2 comments

Netizens woke up today to “Suresh Raina is God” updates on social networking websites. Apparently when “Suresh Raina is God” is translated to Serbian and back to English, Google Translate, gives us “Sachin Tendulkar is God”.  Sachin fans are going crazy ever since, reaffirming their faith in all what is Google.

Let me jot down in brief, what Google says, how Google Translate works.

Not Word By Work
It’s not a word by word translation. In the sense that “I am God” in Hindi does not translate to “मैं हूँ भगवान”, but Google Translate does it perfectly to, “मैं भगवान हूँ”.

Machine Guess Work
It’s all a guess work. Large amounts of documents already translated by human translators have been scanned. Google Translate analyses the patterns to find best suitable translation. Google calls it, “statistical machine translation”.

Correct the Mistakes
Google asks for your contribution to make Translate better. If you come across an anomaly, select the better alternative provided. This is fed back to the analyzer for future reference.

I did some investigation on my own keeping the above explainations in mind. Below are the results with my weird theories.

1. Cricket, Sachin, Suresh and Serbian

English Serbian English
Suresh Raina is God Суресх Раина је Бог Sachin Tendulkar is God
Suresh Raina is a match Fixer Суресх Раина је меч Фикер Sachin Tendulkar is a match Fixer
Suresh Raina is bowled out Суресх Раина се докотрљао се Sachin Tendulkar is bowled up
Suresh Raina is run out Суресх Раина је понестало Sachin Tendulkar was run out
Suresh Raina is playing cricket Sachin Tendulkar Суресх Раина игра крикет са Сацхин Тендулкар Sachin Tendulkar playing cricket with Sachin Tendulkar

If we associate Suresh Raina with cricket in any sense, Translate interprets it as Sachin Tendulkar as far as Serbian and English is concerned. If we recall, Suresh Raina was hailed by Wisden, Bible of Cricket, as one of the most promising lad when he first surfaced on the cricket arena. He was hailed as the next Sachin Tendulkar by cricket enthusiasts and pundits. Google Translate might be looking into those very reports for all we know. Also Suresh seems quite similar to Sachin even in English language.

2. Others are fine

English Serbian English
Virender Shewag is God Вирендер Схеваг је Бог Virender Shevag God
Sourav Ganguly is God Соурав Гангули је Бог Sourav Ganguli God
Rahul Dravid is God Рахул Дравид је Бог Rahul Dravid is God
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is God Махендра Сингх Дхони је Бог Mahendra Singh Dhoni is God

With other cricketers there seems to be no goofiness at all. I was expecting some trick with Virender Sehwag given that he has been hailed as duplicate Sachin. Alas! I was wrong.

3. No Cricket, No Confusion

English Serbian English
Suresh Raina Суресх Раина Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina is a doctor Суресх Раина је лекар Suresh Raina is a doctor
Suresh Raina eat Суресх Раина једу Suresh Raina eat
I met Suresh Raina Сам упознао Раина Суресх I met Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina met Sachin Tendulkar Суресх Раина састао Сацхин Тендулкар Suresh Raina met Sachin Tendulkar

If we use Suresh Raina, independent of any cricketing context, there is no funny business at all. Raina will not be able to catch up with Sachin in his off field life it seems.

4. Another of Google’s Prank

It might have been hardcoded by Google as a prank on cricket crazy net users in India. They are well known for such jokes. If it is a ploy, it sure is working. Wait for a press release, they will admit soon, if there is anything to it.

Google Translate has a lot many tricks up its sleeve. Keep exploring. Coz that’s what Jesus (Google) wants us to do. One of them being:

English Vietnamese English
Will Justin Bieber ever hit puberty Justin Bieber sẽ bao giờ đến tuổi dậy thì Justin will never reach puberty

Now that’s nasty of Google. What has Justin done to anyone?

Netizens and Fake Identity

with 6 comments

One of my old colleagues initiated a Facebook discussion. Somewhere along the discussion he took the liberty of deleting one of my comments. His justification was that he intended to maintain his profile, posts and comments in a particular manner to which my comment did not adhere to. Consider here that my comment was neither obscene, provocative or political. I contested that he was trying to create a fake online impression by censoring views of his friends on his profile. All I could do was to prohibit myself from any further comments on his posts.

Enough of the petty personal low down. The issue I want to raise here is related to the realism of online profiles and social networking sites. Internet is looked upon as a replica of the real world. An extension perhaps. We have created online profiles, shopping malls, entertainment media, social networks etc for us. Netizens have always maintained that online profile is nothing but an impression of the reality. However there has been a surge in the number of fake profiles recently. Authorities across the world are trying to find a way to handle it in the best possible way.

Consider a real life scenario. You are having a discussion with someone and he starts uttering indemnities. What do you do? You stop the discussion then and there and decide not to be friends with him/her anymore. You start a fist fight. You report him to the authorities. But can you erase/delete what has been said? Can you un-say it? In the online world it becomes possible. Exactly the point I want to make. Netizens are deviating from the rules, regulations for the citizens. The fact that facebook allows a person to delete a comment by someone on his/her profile makes it a fakebook. True that it is necessary sometimes to delete an obscene or filthy remark but who is to decide what is to be deleted?

One might contest, “Why is there a need for a Netizen to bide by the regulations for a Citizen?” He might be right today. But given that we are taking more and more of our lives online, it might not be the case in near future. Effective laws and stringent checks will guard the online world not very far from now. E-self would be forced to stay in line with real-self. It would be a matter of choice nomore. Infact, strict online laws are being debated at eminent forums. Maybe in the future, online profiles would require you to enter SSN (Social Secuirty Number), thereby eliminating the existence of fake profiles altogether.

Consider another scenario.  A travel agency creates a Facebook profile which brags about the services they provide. Someone who has employed their services in the past knows it to be a lie. He writes a comment on their page, stating the truth. The agency deletes the comment then and there. The page remains clean, thereby misguiding the junta. On the flip side, if they are not allowed to delete the comment then a rival company might post a fake derogatory comment. A Catch-22 situation.

What could the solution be? Nothing simple, I guess.

  1. One solution could be to delete from friend-list, who we feel is writing false or maligning comments. It would closely replicate real life scenario. We just end the friendship.
  2. We can avoid adding all and sundry to our friend-list. The lesser the better.
  3. Instead of delete comment, there could be a report abuse button for every post/comment. Though it would require more personnel to be employed by the networking site who would check whether it is really an abuse or not. This might again be contested.

If this too fails then there is always Mafia Wars to settle the scores.

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