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Hair crap?! Machine translation on digitec and Galaxus

Ever heard of the fragrance types «toilet water», «body crap» or «hair crap»? Neither have we. And still, they appeared in our shop. Why? Because we work with DeepL, a machine translation service that’s clever but not perfect. That's why we need help from all you non-machines: Let us know if you see a weird translation.

Our range is growing and growing – and with it all the product-related texts, such as product names, descriptions, product filters, properties and technical specifications. We want you to have all this information available in your preferred language, whether it’s German, French, Italian or English.

Why we work with machine translation

Manually translating all this data from German into three languages is just impossible. We might have an internal team of nine professional translators, but with over two million available products, it would take us years to translate all product details. And frankly, who would have fun doing that?!

That’s why we’ve recently added a new team member to our translation team: DeepL. DeepL is a machine translation service – in our eyes, the best of its kind. Every night, when our translators are asleep, DeepL takes up work, goes through our database of product-related texts and delivers them in French, English and Italian. So when our human translators arrive at the office in the morning, they can focus on providing you with your well-loved product reviews, shopping guides and other inspirational articles written by our editorial team.

Why we work with human translation

In our opinion, content is key. We're more than a product search engine with smart filter options. We also offer you inspiring articles that inform, entertain and show you the newest trends. And most importantly: articles that are written by real people with a genuine interest in the subject. This is why we work with a team of 18 editors who write and nine in-house translators who translate articles for you every working day. In times of automatisation, we’re proud to offer you authentic insights, original articles and honest reviews – in your preferred language.

Want to know more about our translators? Meet the team: Anne Chapuis, Jean-François Arnaud, Sophie Boissonneau and Stéphanie König write French translations; Alessandra Ruggieri De Micheli, Leandra Amato and Sanela Dragulovic are our Italian wizards and Jessica Johnson-Ferguson and Eva Francis take care of English translations.

So who’s this new guy, DeepL?

The DeepL website reads: «DeepL is a deep learning company that develops AI systems for languages. The company was founded in 2009 as Linguee and introduced the first internet search engine for translations. (...) In 2017, the company introduced DeepL Translator, a machine translation system that is able to produce translations of unprecedented quality, available for free at DeepL.com/translator.» We agree, DeepL is darn clever. And we must admit, it’s a lot faster than we are. This is why DeepL is a great addition to our in-house translations team.

Find out more about AI, machine learning and deep learning here:

What’s the difference between AI, machine learning and deep learning?
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What’s the difference between AI, machine learning and deep learning?

DeepL fail? Let us know!

So far so good, but nobody’s perfect. And certainly no machine (even if it’s called HAL 9000). DeepL has come up with a few funny creations in our shop. The fragrance type «toilet water» for «eau de toilette», «body crap» for a spray named «Body Mist» and «hair crap» for «Hair Mist» – just to name a few. How come? Well, DeepL is clever enough to analyse the context in which a word is used and adjust its choice of translation accordingly, but if it comes across an isolated word such as «eau de toilette», there’s no way it could know whether this word is needed to describe a perfume or for a plumber’s guide on fitting a toilet.

We’ve been working with DeepL for about six months now and we’ll continue to do so as our range keeps growing and growing. What does this mean for our translations team? We can focus on translating editorial content and reviewing DeepL’s translations of product information. What does this mean for you? You can browse through our shop in whichever language you prefer and will get the exact same amount of product information.

You might, however, stumble upon a strange translation in English, French or Italian every once in a while. If you do so, please let us know. How? Send us an e-mail: translations@digitecgalaxus.ch. It’s as easy as that. We promise to correct it immediately – and we’ll send you an answer and karma points on top!

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User

Eva Francis, Zurich

  • Translator
Looking at her Swiss and British passport, there’s no denying this lady hails from the hinterlands. Raised in the village of Müllheim, she also has roots in the Welsh town of Brecon. Eva plays Gaelic football at the «Zürich Inneoin GAA Club» and is always up for a quirky project. She’s currently collecting dog poop bags from all corners of the earth and has accumulated around 50 so far.

24 comments

3000 / 3000 characters

User hosae

I think I spider.

19.09.2018
User GarminAsus

Der Klassiker: Onion rings - Zwiebel ruft an. :)

19.09.2018
User fordgt1996

I find this first cream.

19.09.2018
User daccurda

With these product names, I only understand train station...

19.09.2018
User SPARTAN 117

see I so out that I speak english?!

19.09.2018
User toblerone93

These translations are not the yellow from the egg.

19.09.2018
User MakeAppsNotWar

Bitte macht einen Beitrag zu Artikel 13!
Wir müssen das verhindern!

19.09.2018
User basil.monti

Wir? Die Schweiz ist (gottseidank) nicht Teil der EU

21.09.2018
User MakeAppsNotWar

Stimmt nicht ganz:
1. Die Schweiz ist durch Schengen schon auch ein Stückweit Teil der EU.
2. Die Schweiz übernimmt viele EU Gesetze.
3. Wenn in Deutschland weniger Medien gemacht werden können, spüren das auch wir.
4. Wenn Google z.B. Google News abstellt, ist die Chance hoch das es gleich für den Deutschenkreis ist, also De, Aut UND CH.
5. Ist das Internet internstional. Fängt einer damit an, kommen die anderen auch hinter her.
6.Wir müssen für JEGLICHE Zenszr im Internet kämpfen.

22.09.2018
Answer
User senic35

sorry, my englisch is under all pig

20.09.2018
User MakeAppsNotWar

Well that's no Problem! My english isn't one wall free either!

22.09.2018
Answer
User oliwankenobi

Verwendet ihr die online gratis Version oder seit ihr irgendwie an die Pro Version gekommen (ist gemäss der Webseite nicht für die Schweiz verfügbar deepl.com/pro.html)?

19.09.2018
User Eva Francis

Wir arbeiten mit der REST API von DeepL und haben den Dienst so direkt in unser System integriert. Egineering-Team sei Dank! :)

19.09.2018
Answer
User Anonymous

Let's show this DeepL where Beardy collects his apple juice!

27.09.2018
User joshua4045

Meine lieblings übersetzung ist immer noch:
Equal goes it loose.

20.09.2018
User Anonymous

Da kommt mir Otto in den Sinn wenn ich die Kommentare hier lese ;-)

11.10.2018
User fumo

Wir sollen euch auf Übersetzungsfehler aufmerksam machen? Somit werden wir Kunden als zahlende Qualitätskontrolle missbraucht? Ihr setzt die Latte ja echt immer wie tiefer. Habt ihr überhaupt noch brauchbare Angestellte oder werden bewusst nur dumme Menschen rekrutiert?

19.09.2018
User Anonymous

Ja

19.09.2018
User xazax

Your intelligence quotient seems not to be the yellow from the egg

19.09.2018
User SPARTAN 117

Fumo, eat a Snickers...

20.09.2018
User schLEIMER

Naja sie lassen auch Deine Comments stehen, von dem her. Ich glaube das ist das dümmste was sie machen.

20.09.2018
User Anonymous

Fumo, warum dann überhaupt noch hier wenn du nur rumnörgelst wie ein Kleinkind?

21.09.2018
Answer