Accuracy in Race Names

This morning’s Stinson Beach Trail Run would have been more aptly named the Mt. Tamalpais Trail Climb (Which Happens To Start At Stinson Beach). This was a course so steep that at one point it was necessary to climb a ladder to continue. The t-shirt depicts runners going up a gentle incline; this would be accurate if I wore it while lying on my side. It was a nice place to run, as it’s basically the same forest as Muir Woods. But next time I’m bringing a sherpa.

8 thoughts on “Accuracy in Race Names

  1. Mason

    I read the title and was hoping for a much juicier entry, as I was thinking of race as it applies to humans. I’m fully awake. I swear.

  2. JSpur

    Which distance did you do?
    I ran twenty but it was the first such run on my new blood pressure meds… felt like I was carrying a piano much of the way.

  3. leonardo

    Voc? tem algum grau de parentesco com o sobre nome HIME?
    Um grande abra?o e se puder me responda.
    Brasil, dia 21 de novembro de 2005

  4. Arcane Gazebo

    Sorry, I don’t speak Portuguese. According to Babelfish, this guy said:
    “You have some degree of kindred with the one on name HIME? A great one I hug and if he will be able answers me.”

  5. Mason

    Mmmm, Babelfish seems to have trouble with tenses. It’s also missing out on context. Has anybody attempted to make an auto translator that incorporates context?
    Shouldn’t the second sentence be more like “A great hug if you can answer me.” (like in ending a letter or something) Babelfish seems to also have done this a bit literally.
    (I’m basing this on Spanish, so I can make similar translation mistakes really easily.)
    I think that ‘sobre nome’ means ‘last name’ although I don’t remember seeing ‘sobre’ used that way in Spanish. (I think I’ve seen ‘su nombre de familia’ instead.) The ‘sobre la mesa’ as in ‘on the table’ is also what Babelfish did.
    For an amusing exercise, write something in English, convert it to a few different languages in one of these translators, and then convert it back to English and compare. The results are usually highly amusing.

  6. JSpur

    I actually did what Mason suggested with my bio on my website. The result was beyond funny.
    And greetings to Leonardo in Brazil.

  7. Lemming

    Not translation per se, but I belive IBM’s ViaVoice voice recognition software uses a loose sense of context (strength of associations to recently recognized words) to either optimize the search space or choose between similar sounding words as it makes a match. I could be thinking of someone else’s software though…

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