Midjourney: Midjourney Tested In Foreign Languages – Non-English Prompts

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As you probably already know, Midjourney is an AI program that can create images from written descriptions (prompts).

A prompt refers to a short text command that is interpreted by the Midjourney bot to generate an image. The bot breaks down the words and sentences in a prompt into smaller parts known as tokens. These tokens are then compared to the bot’s training data and used to create an image.

So far, I have always written my Midjourney prompts in English. However, I am now wondering if it would be better to input them in German instead. After all, German is my native language, and I can probably express myself better in it and use a richer vocabulary. That should lead to better results, right?

But the question is: will Midjourney understand me when I switch languages and input my commands in German?

For my test, I have translated an English prompt into German and will now see how closely the results match the original.

Comparison – Midjourney in English vs. German

First things first:

Midjourney understands commands in other languages such as German. Theoretically, you could even speak in Chinese or Swahili with the tool.

To understand this, you must note that Midjourney does not really understand languages. It can only detect statistical correlations to certain keywords and generate images based on the training data, provided that there is training data available for the language.

For the test, I was using the following prompt:

“Nikon D850 DSLR 85 mm F 1.8 lens of an old male lion running aggressively through a wild west town, sunset lighting, blue, orange, extreme bokeh –v 5”

In the English original, it leads to the following result:

That captures the prompt’s meaning quite well.

I am now trying the same with the German translation of the command:

“Fotografie mit einer Nikon D850 DSLR Kamera und einem 85-mm-F1.8-Objektiv eines alten männlichen Löwen, der aggressiv durch eine Wild-West-Stadt rennt, bei Sonnenuntergang, mit blauem, orangem Licht und extremem Bokeh –v 5”

Strange! I do not see a lion in this image, but a cowboy with a camera.

Let’s adjust the prompt slightly and bring the german term for lion “Löwe” at the beginning of the prompt:

“Foto eines alten männlichen Löwen, aufgenommen mit Nikon D850 DSLR 85-mm-F1.8-Objektiv, der Löwe rennt aggressiv durch eine Wild-West-Stadt, bei Sonnenuntergang, mit blauem, orangem Licht und extremem Bokeh –v 5”

Apparently, Midjourney has difficulty understanding the word “Löwen” which is the grammatical case Genitive or could also be used for the plural. Instead, we now see a bison.

Compared to the English prompt, the result with the German prompt is disappointing.

Granted, our original prompt is somewhat complicated. In the next step, I will limit myself to the word “Löwe” in singular and enter it into Midjourney in several languages:

English: lion

German: Löwe

Italian: leone

Leone is apparently also the name of an anime character. The results are interesting: when I enter Leone in the Google image search, the first results are lions.

Spanish: león

León is also a city in Spain, so it is not surprising that it is depicted here.

If I now specify the prompt and enter “un leòn”, the following result is generated:

Better already, but still interesting that 2 out of 4 images are coat of arms.

Japanese: ライオン (raion)

I don’t speak Japanese and I might have used the wrong word. However, the Google image search results for ライオン (raion) show pictures of lions. Midjourney, on the other hand, generates very “creative” results.

Turkish: aslan

The results are surprisingly good. Midjourney can understand Turkish.

Chinese: 狮子 (shīzi)

Similar to Japanese, Midjourney seems to struggle with Asian languages. The results are not as accurate as in other languages.

Why are there such large differences in quality?

Midjourney has access to several billion images as training data. However, there are fewer training data available for smaller languages such as German compared to English, which can lead to worse results.

For simple prompts, this is usually not a problem as long as the term is unambiguous. However, Midjourney can quickly become confused if a word like “lion” is also used as the name of a person or city, as is the case in Spanish or Italian.

As soon as the prompt becomes grammatically more complex, Midjourney is overwhelmed in non-English languages.

Therefore, as a conclusion, I recommend using Midjourney in English to avoid frustration and achieve the best results possible. Since most of the training data is derived from the English language, it makes sense that English prompts will perform better. However, if you do not speak English fluently, you can write the prompt in German and then translate it with Google Translate or other translation tools. Trust me, this will lead to better results than entering the prompt in German.

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