A Brief Comparison of Machine Translation and Human Translation

Instead of pontificating about the dangers of relying on machine translation and arguing that post-processing of machine translation is a really idiotic idea and probably not the way to go, I am posting below the Japanese text of a leaflet dropped by the US Army on Japanese islands in August of 1945, machine translation of the same Japanese text (lightning-fast with GoogleTranslate), and my own quick-and-dirty translation (as a sample of human translation, which did take a little bit longer to finish).

Otherwise I have no comment for the moment, although I am hoping that the readers of my blog might have a few.

1. US Army Leaflet Urging the People of Japan to Surrender in Japanese







亦米國は今や何人もなし得なかつた恐しい原子爆弾を發明し之を使用するに至つた。之原子爆弾はたゞ一箇だけであの巨大なB-29二千機が一囬に投下 する爆弾に匹敵する。この恐るべき事實は諸君が廣島に唯一箇だけ投下された際、如何なる状態を惹起したかはそれを見れば判るはずである。

此の無益な戦争を長引かせてゐる軍事上の凡てをこの恐るべき原子爆弾を以て破壊する。米國はこの原子爆弾が多く使用されないうち諸君が此の戦争を止 めるよう天皇陛下に請願される事を望むものである。米國大統領は曩に諸君に對して述べた十三ヶ條よりなる寛大なる條項を速やかに承諾し、より良い平和を愛 好する新日本の建設をなすよう米國は慫慂するものである。




2. Machine Translation (with GoogleTranslate)

!! Which it says to Japan Kokumin

“卽刻 case urban retreat than”

Carefully read well because it is that the most important thing is that you have written in this villa.

Japan Kokumin gentlemen is the was settlement in the face of now Naru serious fall.

Although guys of military leadership is Mikuni of Womotte generous Joko consisting of ten SankeJo of the joint declaration was spatula gave the Ki會 in order to stop the futile war of 此 military ignored the Shi.

Soviet Unicom for that is the declared war and unto Japan.

Also Beikuni is ItaruTsuta the fear Shii atomic bomb who has failed now obtained without any person to use this to 發明. This atomic bomb was Isuzu Ichi箇 only in that huge B-29 two thousand aircraft comparable to the bomb to drop on one 囬. This formidable KotoMinoru is when the gentlemen was dropped only only 箇 in Hiroshima, or elicited any state should be seen if you look at the it.


The all of the military on the Iru prolongs a futile war of 此 destroy Womotte this terrible atom bomb. Beikuni is wishing that the gentlemen is petition the 此 of war to stop Mel so the Emperor of this atomic bomb is not used a lot. Beikuni President accepted promptly generous jaw section consisting of thirteen KeJo described in unto the gentlemen in 曩, is Beikuni so as to form the Shin Nihon & Co. of construction to love good a better peace intended to encourage is there.

Sui Tsute Japan Kokumin gentlemen should be stopped armed resistance immediately.

If scolded Zare Beikuni is Danko in this atomic bomb parallel, using the excellent Naru weapons loose Yahoo Legend will Ara a Schiml to end this war quickly 且強 system basis.

“Soku (graduate) time (full-bodied) capital (g) City (city) than withdrawal (Thailand) avoid (human)

3. Human Translation of the Same Leaflet

People of Japan: Attention – Evacuate Your Cities Immediately –

The text written in this bill is very important: please read it carefully!

All of the people of Japan are now facing a Fateful Autumn.

Your military leaders were given the opportunity to stop this futile war based on the generous 13 conditions of a Joint Declaration of the Military Leadership of the Three Countries at War, but the military ignored them.

That is why the Soviet Union declared that it is at war with Japan.

Moreover, the United States has invented a frightful atomic bomb that has been already used. One such atomic bomb has a destructive force equivalent to the bomb that was dropped from the large 2,000 B29 bomber. You were witnesses to the destruction that a single bomb dropped on Hiroshima has caused.

All the military forces prolonging this futile war will be destroyed by these terrible atomic bombs. The United States is hoping that you will all petition your Emperor to end the war before many more such bombs are used. The president of the United States encourages you to approve immediately the generous thirteen conditions proposed previously in order to start building a new, peace loving Japan.

Consequently, the Japanese people must stop armed resistance immediately.

Otherwise, the United States is determined to use these formidable weapons as well as other excellent weapons to force this war to a rapid conclusion.


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