Google is an interesting place to explore. It can take you places you have never been to and give you answers to questions you never knew wanted answers to. Interestingly, it can also make you laugh like crazy. And if you happen to be travelling to a distant land where language is posing a major barrier for you to communicate, it can also dub as your personal interpreter.
Over the years Google has expanded its lexicon and added new words and dozens of new languages to its ever-expanding treasure. At present Google knows 103 languages including Arabic, Tamil, Zulu, Hebrew, Bulgarian, Kurdish and Basque (if Google was a person, he’d have been as popular as Albert Einstein!). It’s safe to say that the reserves of Google’s knowledge are unlimited and it’s omnipotent.
But, if you explore more carefully, you would understand that Google is not all that smart and brainy. Infact, it can act really stupid at times. Don’t trust us? Check out what Google had to say when we asked it to translate some popular Hindi proverbs:
1. Only if you are alive, things matter (जान है तो जहान है)
Well, this one was pretty close. While the literal translation might have been right (Jahan is the world), it’s nowhere close to getting the essence of the popular proverb.
2. Someone who can’t understand can’t appreciate (बन्दर क्या जाने अदरक का स्वाद)
Oh, dear Google, we don’t want to taste a monkey! We are just looking for some understanding and some appreciation (talk about being stupid, but this a whole new level of being dumb).
3. Might is right (जिस की लाठी उस की भैंस)
Yay! Google gets this one right. It sure understands the language of might and that of majority well.
4.Beware of the insider, for he can bring down the biggest setup (घर का भेदी लंका ढाये)
Two points for Google for getting another one right. Don’t we all hate the loved ones who betray us?
5. After committing many serious crimes showing a Saintly behaviour or displaying fake goodness (नौ सौ चूहे खाके बिल्ली हज को चली)
“Singing all the days and going to the church on Sundays”– what??? A mouse in the description would have made sense but this is completely irrelevant.
6. We tend to like the ones we don’t have (दूर के ढोल सुहावने)
This one is close enough. FYI Google, the proverb is not only valid for things but also for the situations.
7. Self-possessions are always undermined and other’s possessions seem better (घर की मुर्गी दाल बराबर)
Dear Google, it’s not about contempt but about dismissing what we already have, be it a person or a thing, which is what happens when people start taking you for granted.
8. You should not have enmity with the crocodile if you are living in the water (जल में रहकर मगर से बैर ठीक नहीं)
Not bad, Google got the ‘staying in the water’ part right but missed the other half. For all those who are still wondering, it’s all about messing with the right people at the right time.
9.Empty vessels make more noise (गर्जने वाले बादल बरसते नहीं है)
‘The bite cannot be roaring’??? First of all, one can either bite or roar. Secondly, a bite can never ever roar. Please!
10. To get yourself into trouble (आ बैल मुझे मार)
This one will make you laugh. I wouldn’t ask the bull to come and kill me. Ever!
11. Old habits die hard (पुरानी आदत मुशकिल से मरती है)
Another proud moment for the people who power Google Translate. It got another translation right.
12. Tit for tat (जैसे को तैसा)
Google sure understands the language of giving people a taste of their own medicine and here we thought that Google wasn’t fun anymore!
13. A bad workman blames his tools (नाच न जाने, आँगन ठेढ़ा)
We might not know how to dance like a diva but we sure can manage other things well. This literal translation is depressing, literally!
14. A person who can only understand the language of beatings cannot be counselled by words (लातों के भूत बातों से नहीं मानते)
Must say, we are impressed. It might not be an ideal match but it is close enough. Well done Google!
15. Give, and ye shall receive (कर भला हो भला)
‘Thanks to good’– if only it were a person! Dear Google, you have a long way to go before you graduate in Hindi. Can’t say the same about other languages though.
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