Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Lost in Translation

Have you ever gone to one of those online text translators like Babelfish or Free Translation to get a translation of something from English into another language? And then a few days later you find out that you inadvertently said something appalling, politically incorrect, embarrassing, dirty, or nonsensical?

Well, yeah, that's the problem systematic translating. So why not exploit this terrible inadequacy? That's what the site, Lost in Translation, by Carl Tashian does. From English into 5 different languages and then back into English, the phrase you type in will become ridiculous. Some examples of stuff I typed in:

Can't stop this.
--This cannot be arrested.

Roses are red. Violets are blue. Sugar is sweet and so are you.
--One rose of the colors is red. The viola is blue. Therefore the sugar is motivatings force and you are you.

Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow.
--Maria had a small lamb, of that trapunte he who was white women like the snow.

Row row your boat gently up the stream.
--Rudders he he chain its easy boat to the expensive outpost of the startings.

The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout.
--Itsy bitsy of the spider assembled entrerrosca of the water.

There is no such thing as a free lunch.
--It has something because the liberations at noon do not eat.

Just think---these are the things you are telling your foreign friends (or German teacher) when you use these services. Shudder.


  1. I found this google one is pretty good- http://www.google.com/ig , although not perfect of course!

  2. thanks for the tip!