Brazilian Fire Door Warning Sign uses Babel Fish

I took the above photograph while visiting a tourist attraction in Curitiba, Brazil. At first I just passed it off as a bad translation: "HA! Engrish is not only for Japan." However, when I was sorting through my travel photos the other day, I had an eerie suspicion that the poor grammar may have been a result of some online translator. Sure enough, I typed in the Portuguese into Babel Fish and out came the English translation (almost) spot on:

"Mantenha Fechada" translated to "It Keeps Closed" perfectly.

I had to remove the hyphen in "Corta-Fogo" since Babel Fish refused to translate hyphen pairs. This was almost identical, if not for the grammatically correct placement of "s" in "Cuts."

Of course this doesn't prove that the designer used Babel Fish to create that warning sign. However, it does bring out two interesting points:

1. Babel Fish is good enough. While not grammatically correct or professional, the Babel Fish translation did get the point across: "Fire door, keep closed." With Moore's law still keeping pace, I think it's not too long until AI translators can hold it's own against human translators. I'm not saying human translators will be replaced, since they are good at reading mood and knowing context (not to mention providing a "human touch"), but the entire web might become legible using AI translators.

2. If the designer did not use any translation software or service, Babel Fish came close to the human translation. I don't think this is the case, but if no software was used, it's interesting that the computer and human translated the same way.

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ZA is a blog about ideas: cool ideas, existent ideas, pointless ideas, crazy ideas, my ideas, your ideas, interesting ideas, funny ideas, product ideas, meaningless ideas, great ideas, shrimp ideas, etc. It’s here for people to rant, rave, share, and satisfy. Any idea here (if original) is free for you to use (I take no responsibility) as long as you credit the originator of the idea (be honest). Feel free to send me any ideas, but a blog is considered to be public disclosure so you will lose all rights to patent it. Enjoy.

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