Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks
Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks
Illustration for article titled Google Translate Telephone

I was bored, so I decided to type stuff into Google Translate and see what I'd come up with when I translated the foreign translation back into English. Sort of an Internet version of the children's party game "Telephone", where a message is passed along by whispering, usually ending up completely different at the end of the line. For my test text, I used Mr. Logan's oft-quoted bon mot:

I'm the best there is at what I do. But what I do isn't very pretty.

(Procedural Note: I was originally going to try duplicating the way Telephone works by translating the text subsequently through four or five different languages before ending back at English. But that proved to be entirely too much copy-and-paste, and it didn't seem to affect the "quality" of the end product that much. So this is more correctly "Lazy Person's Telephone", y'all.)


Of course, it was only appropriate (canonical, even) to begin with Japanese:

I'm the best there is at what to. However, what I am doing is not very clean.

Latin made it into a strangely noble sentiment:

I will do what is best. Now, what I do is not enough.

And Irish threw kind of a "Wicked Bible" spanner into the works:

I'm the best there is at what I do. But what I do is very nice.

But I mostly discovered that Google Translate is really good. Most of the languages were almost spot-on after re-translation (usually just replacing "pretty" with "nice"). Way to spoil my fun by making quality software, Google! :p


Anyway, hope this was mildly entertaining; and if anyone can come up with better ways of subverting Translate for low comedy purposes, please feel free to do so in the comments!

(A note on the photo: I was looking for perhaps a comic book panel showing Logan on the phone looking perplexed — you can't tell me Chris Claremont never put that into a script! — but Google Images gave me this instead. AND IT IS AWESOME.)


EDIT: Thanks to stellastar42 for pointing me to a website that does what I originally intended (albeit only from English to Japanese and back)!

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