What’s a ‘jubliado?’

Jubliado is the Spanish word for “senior citizen”, while “anziano” is its Italian counterpart. We know this thanks to an amazing new Internet toy that comes courtesy of AltaVista, the search engine people. AltaVista’s U.S. search site (a Canadian site allows you to limit your quest to Canadian sources) now offers a translation section that is both fun and useful.

AltaVista’s Translation Assistant is offered in conjunction with Systran, a leader in the field of machine translations. AltaVista emphasizes that the site provides a tool to translate a grammatically correct document into something that is comprehensible, but not perfect. Users can help to improve translations (otherwise known as teaching the computer something) by submitting feedback online.

Computerized translations often miss subtle meanings of words and don’t accurately present many common sayings. This can be annoying, and also quite amusing. One fun diversion is retranslating the computer’s answers back into the original language. Plug in “jubliado”, the computer’s Spanish equivalent for “senior citizen”, and the new English equivalent is “rejoiced”, which is a very pleasant word to describe a seniorOn the other hand, the same process using the Italian “anziano” yields a simple “old.” C’est la vie.