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this is trivial but still true

The problem with Japanese (from a machine-translation perspective) is that many basic linguistic concepts (such as time) are handled differently, and you need to understand things at a fairly high semantic level to actually grok what’s going on. Consider the example “昨日、2時まで起きていました。” A nieve translation would be “Yesterday, I was in the process of waking up until 2.” A translation which preserves the meaning, however, would be closer to “I was up until 2 last night.”

Google’s (beta) Japanese-to-English translator renders it as follows: “Yesterday, it occurred to o’clock of 2.”

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