MT Humor: “The Head of Telecommunications Holding Secret”

Google Translator

I love Google. Really, I do. I have been a gmail subscriber for years, I’ve been using their search engine for as long as I can remember, I love their maps and other features, and then I occasionally try their "Translator", just to see if I’ll be out of work soon. Well, I’m happy to say, at least it won’t be Google who will take my job. Today, I pasted in part of an article on e-mail privacy at the workplace from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung to see what would happen with the English translation. Here goes.

"Actually holds: In particular, private e-mails relate to the personal sphere of life and are the general personality right eyes against third parties. The employer must, therefore, generally not to such e-mail access. He recognizes that one of his open e-mail is private, it must be immediately closed. Is the private mail allowed, must also be the head of the telecommunications holding secret, which in Article 10 of the Basic Law guaranteed. Legally, he would then be a sort Telecom, a service provider within the meaning of the Telecommunications Act (TKG), say some lawyers. This applies even if the employer provides the technical performance does not even offer."

Got it? No? Well, I didn’t either. What intrigued me, though, were the "right eyes". Were my eyes wrong?  What was wrong with my eyes? I didn’t get it. Well, I had to find out. In the original text, the "right to protection of one’s individual sphere of life" (allgemeines Persönlichkeitsrecht) "protects" (this word was omitted in the translation) "third parties from viewing" (Blicke Dritter) private messages. Ah, I can see clearly now…

And what was "must also be the head of the telecommunications holding secret"? The head of a secret? That sounded fascinating. But, oh, the disappointment when I saw what was really meant: The boss must adhere to the German Telecommunications Act. Plain and simple. So he is not really the "head of the secret." Less exciting than I thought. Mystery solved.

Besides these obvious errors, the program does not seem to be able to rearrange the syntax in any way. Sentences most to understand need syntax we. Don’t we?

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