Discussion in 'Grammar & Pronunciation' started by sunshinecookie, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. on the local lingo website it says that "we ask" in czech is prosime, right? but when i put "we ask" in a translator it says "my ptát se". so now i am very confused which one is right and where do i use "prosime"
  2. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    "my ptát se" is bad Czech.

    "we ask" has more meanings in English and could be translated differently to Czech.

    we ask
    1 a: to call on for an answer
    ptáme se,

    2 a: to make a request of <she asked her teacher for help> b: to make a request for <she asked help from her teacher>
    žádáme, prosíme, chtěli bychom

    3: to call for : require <a challenge that will ask much of us>

    4: to set as a price <asked $3000 for the car>
  3. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    In short, machine translators are stupid, literally. Generally, they are only able to substitute English words for Czech words. Since, Czech verbs have several conjugations, the translator needs to "know" the context (e.g., 1st person, plural, in your case) to be able to correctly conjugate the Czech equivalent.

    Plus, there may be several verbs, which fit the English meaning, depending on context, as eso mentioned.

    It is difficult to impossible to teach machine translators context, so, in the end, using machine translators, you may not only get the wrong choice of words, but also end up with improper usage.

    Ex.: Translating your machine translation of "my ptát se" back into English gives: "We to ask [a question]."
  4. ok that clears things up, thanks you two! :D

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