Alta-vista Babelfish is fun.

First, I typed in English this message.

Babelfish translated it into German.

Hmmmmm, I thought. They could have given me any drivel and I wouldn’t have known better. How bout I test them? Ah, yes! Clever I am! So I copy and pasted the above and retranslated into English.

I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard. Why didn’t anyone tell me this was so fun? :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

This is the result after being mangled through Japanese and back again. I could have sworn that the translation algorithms were a tad more sophisticated than that.

A friend of mine was reading a story that was translated into English by babelfish from either Spanish or some Asian language, and it happened that in translating a group of words for a sexual phrase of some kind, it came up with the following translation:

It still makes me laugh.

I still have an e-mail taped to my fridge where “Thanks, Mike” was translated to “Dankesehr. Mikrophon” :smiley:

You have to go through many iterations to get real poetry. Also, with a little experience, you get to know what languages produce what kind of distortions. Here’s your phrase going through various European languages:

English - French - Greek - English - Dutch - French - English:

Throwing Asian languages into the mix:
(English - Chinese - English - Japanese - English - Korean - English)

Okay, I added the line breaks, and played with the punctuation, but if that ain’t poetry I don’t know what is.

I have long enjoyed typing song lyrics into BabelFish, “translating” them into French and back, and attempting to sing the results with friends (note: this is best when done considerably after midnight, and I’d imagine drugs/alcohol wouldn’t hurt, though I wouldn’t know). From what I can tell, the English-to-French isn’t half bad as long as you don’t use idioms, but the French-to-English (or anything-to-English, for that matter) is crap in a hat. Personally, I would’ve thought it’d be the other way around – I can translate French into proper-sounding English with a lot more confidence than the other way around – but I guess not. Just as well, though; it makes for some quality entertainment.

Oh, and by the way, in the badly translated words of my namesake:

Cry! Cry! Left any outside!
These are the things that I then to make outwards!
Let us go…I speak to you!

Freud’s skeleton is clawing at the top of his casket in an attempt to exhume itself and psychoanaylze you.

Awwwwww, Freud, don’t exhume yourself over little ol’ ME! :smiley: