Matz_en and matz_transrated twitter accounts

Many of you probably follow the matz_translated Twitter account,
provided by
tera.cc via the translate-twitter application:

http://twitter.com/matz_translated
http://twitter.com/#!/matz_translated

This is a neat idea in terms of trying to allow English speakers who
don’t
understand Japanese to read Matz’s (and many other core Ruby
developers’)
tweets. However, it uses the Bing Translator which, uhh, well, isn’t
great.
However, this makes for some unintentionally hilarious bad translations,
and
I’m sure plenty of people just follow matz_translated for ironic value.

I thought I’d try to solve the problem of poor translations and
exacerbate
the problem of unintentionally ironic translations in one fell swoop. So
announcing the matz_en and matz_transrated Twitter accounts:

http://twitter.com/matz_en http://twitter.com/#!/matz_en (Serious)
http://twitter.com/matz_transrated
http://twitter.com/#!/matz_transrated
(Silly)

The service is extremely simple and modern, based on the tweetstream gem
(which lets you follow users via the Twitter streaming API), the rsay
gem
(wraps the Google Translate API), and the twitter_oauth gem. The matz_en
account translates the original yukihiro_matz account from Japanese into
English using the Google Translate service. The matz_transrated account
takes the Bing translation output of matz_translated, and round trips it
back to Japanese and English again via the Google Translate API for an
additional degree of Engrishness.

So how well does matz_en perform in terms of good translations and
matz_transrated in terms of hilarious Engrish? The results are generally
good but sometimes a bit mixed. With matz_en, I notice the Google
Translate
API at least manages to produce non-broken English most of the time,
even if
the meaning is lost somewhat. Bing seems notoriously bad at producing
broken-sounding Engrish. This makes matz_transrated a bit strange as it
generally produces better English than matz_translated, even though the
meaning is often completely skewed. One thing I definitely noticed was
matz_translated has escaping problems in mobile clients (at least
Twitter
for iPhone) which matz_en does not and matz_transrated actually
corrects.

The code is so simple that it would be extremely easy for me to add
additional Ruby core developers who tweet in Japanese or additional
output
languages. Right now it weighs in at 42 (!!!) loc, and that’s with all
the
credentials hardcoded into the Ruby code itself. I might factor the
credentials out into a YAML file and publish the source on github if
anyone’s interested.

On 10/04/2010 09:02 PM, Tony A. wrote:

(wraps the Google Translate API), and the twitter_oauth gem. The matz_en
the meaning is lost somewhat. Bing seems notoriously bad at producing
credentials out into a YAML file and publish the source on github if
anyone’s interested.

Hrm…

Write Lua programs to be confusing because I like Ruby solder.
43 minutes ago http://twitter.com/matz_en/status/26424331490 via
Matz Translator http://twitter.com/matz_en

Confusing alright.

Like the idea, though.

-Justin

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