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Years ago I used a computer to translate a letter from English into French for a Friend in Marseilles. I sent the letter in French and in English.

His English was impeccable but I was curious to see what he thought of the translation.

I also sent him a book and in the usual English style I said translated into French “I am enclosing book blah blah”.

I then asked him what he thought of the English / French translation and he said he had to translate it into French.

My line about “enclosing a book” came out in French something like “I am erecting a boundary fence around …”

I recent years I have used dictation technology. It was OK but far from perfect.

The idea that one can get faultless written translations or even simple English language text by talking to a computer, is still the stuff of legend.

Are High Court judges real people anyway?

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