Friday, January 16, 2009

What you say?

The internet is chock full of amusing web sites. Games, videos, comedy, art, puzzles, chat rooms, music, pictures of naked folks. A lot of people work really hard to provide a wide variety of entertainment. There are also a lot of other web sites that are designed to be used for work, as tools to help us accomplish important tasks. Some of those are lots of fun too. In the spirit of kids who would rather play with a cardboard box than the toys that come in it, I'd like to present one of my favorites, FreeTranslation.Com
It's a site that lets you translate the text you type in English into 11 different languages, including Japanese and Russian, with the touch of a button. It also translates eight foreign languages into English. That's where the fun comes in. What you do is: "Type a simple phrase, translate it back and forth and see how silly it becomes"
Translate it into, oh, let's try Spanish: "Escriba a máquina una frase sencilla, lo traduce apoya y adelante y ve cuán tonto llega a ser"
Then translate that back into English: "Type a simple phrase, translates supports him and ahead and sees how fool comes he be."
Because of the nuances and syntax of different languages, it's virtually impossible to translate things literally. But because this is a computer program without the ability to interpret meaning, that's exactly what it does.
  • So throw something ridiculous in there, and/or some colloquialisms and see what happens: "There's more than one way to skin a cat" Go Italian: "C'è più di a senso unico per sbucciare un gatto" and you get: "There it is more of to sole sense to peel a cat".
  • Try getting more languages involved: "Never challenge a drag queen to a knife fight" is "Never a call a lasting queen to struggle of a knife" after you run it back and forth through Russian.
  • It's a great way to come up with Twitter and Facebook status updates that are sure to make your friends take notice: The mundane and pedestrian "I'm picking up my dry cleaning and going to a movie" becomes the cryptic and exciting "I take my on that chemical and state to a film cleans" when you Dutch it up.
  • Use your favorite Monty Python quotes and you will spew your favorite beverages through your favorite nostrils: "I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries" is "Person I who the you head wipes the food valley of an empty animal do not wish you and that do not talk any longer. I do the fart in your general direction. Your mother is a hamster and the smell of elderberries did your father" when it turns Japanese and back to English again.
Hours of fun and more politically correct than going out to the airport and making fun of foreigners trying to order a Cinnabon!

1 comment:

Wildhair said...

I hope Miguel doesn't find out that I had discovered this site when he challenged us to write in Portuguese. Yeah, I cheated. It explains why my verb tense was jacked up.