Could you repeat that in English please?

So you’re sitting in front of the computer, looking for something to entertain you.

Look no farther.

Let me introduce Lost in translation.

You enter a phrase, and the software translates it into another language, back to English, 5 times total, with 5 different languages.

“Why don’t you come up and see me some time” turned into “Because it was not exceeded to consider and I one determined the hour”.

I think I’ll run my next report through this one.

If we’d started out the Declaration of Independence with this whopper, we’d still be under English rule:

“If, when the human of the examples, he transforms into that people to
politicians to repair the obligation, those, to others and under
energies of the track, to those the end estimate the different one and
equal they place the end to decide and the natural laws of the nature
of the God have he right it, they who have the necessity of an
acceptable respect in the opinions of the humanity which they would
have that to explain the causes, to that exert pressure on a they with
starting off.”

Interestingly, the first round-trip (to French and back) does a pretty good job of preserving the meaning:

“When, during human events, it becomes that people dissolve the
political obligations which connected them to others, and to suppose
among the powers of the ground, of the separate and equal station to
which and the God natural laws of nature have them right, a decent
respect in the opinions of humanity requires that they should declare
the causes which push them with separation.”

From Cecil’s very first Straight Dope column:

“Basically the pigeon’s back-and-forth head motion–not exactly a bob–helps it keep its balance when walking. The pigeon’s legs are located pretty far astern, and if it kept its head forward all the time it would probably tip over. This would expose the pigeon to the ridicule of the community. Instead, what it does is move its chest forward in time with one leg, and its head forward in time with the other leg. Thus some weight is always trailing a little abaft the port beam, as we say. Many fowl have similarly peculiar gaits, because they cannot afford orthopedic shoes.”

In translation:

“The movement that zurueck-und of the dove emits that one in the title
– not exactly a chain – of the average the aids generally he of
aquisizione the relative balance when it goes. Piedini of asters of
sufficient the distant dove is to him limits and if to arrest to
relative the continuous lives, before the main thing the whole hour,
of that folding one to them probably more. This would visualize the
dove to the ridiculous community. To the place in the place of this
movement the relative cable in the front part in the time with a
piedino comes and of the relative title in the front part in the time
with the other piedino. This fact a definitive weight little drags
always abaft a beam of light of the left, as we say. It has very
certain of pareillement of the end of the work of pollame, because the
ortopédicas ice-slides cannot have ways.”

…Loses a little something, doesn’t it?

Ah, that beautiful old musical number, My Preferential Things!

Oddly enough, “crisp apple strudels” became “vortex” when translated to German and back.

Ah, yes, the hits of Bonnie Tyler:

"Objects the rear mirrors are closer than they appear."

"It gives return to the mirrors that pospongono is pressed more inside,
that one appears"

If I click the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean button I get
"But the function is pressed is not, to her, but that he has a later
mirror of the zone, it happened to the forehead."

I think Joyce would approve:

As this is longitudinally - like, also with all the valuations of the fish.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

More Bonnie:

It bears absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to the original:

Once upon a time i was falling in love; now I’m only falling apart. There’s nothing I can say – total eclipse of the heart. Once upon a time, there was light in my life; now there’s only love in the dark. There’s nothing I can do – total eclipse of the heart.

I stuck in another song lyric, originally Spanish and babelfished to English first, and if popped out something crazy too. Maybe worse:

[spoiler]Tú me decías que nada te haría cambiar y yo te decía que cambiaste todo para mí. Tú me decías que estabas triste con la vida, pero yo nunca te creí. Por eso estoy tan cansada de las canciones de amor. Siempre hablan de ún final feliz. Bien sabemos que la vida nunca funciona así.

My translation: You used to tell me that nothing’d make you change, and I’d tell you that you changed it all for me. You used to tell me that you were sad with your life, but I’d never believe you. Cause of this, I’m so tired of love songs. They always talk of a happy ending, but you and I know well life never works like that.

Babelfish’s English translation: You said to me that nothing would make change you and I said to you that you changed everything for me. You said to me that you were sad with the life, but I never believed to you. For that reason so I am tired of the love songs. They always speak of a happy end. We know well that the life never works thus.[/spoiler]

Original English Text:
I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse
Translated to French:
Je lui ferai une proposition qu’il ne peut pas refuser
Translated back to English:
I will make him a proposal which it cannot refuse
Translated to German:
Ich bilde ihn einen Antrag, den es nicht ablehnen kann
Translated back to English:
I educate it a request, which it cannot reject
Translated to Italian:
Lo istruisco una richiesta, che non può rifiutare
Translated back to English:
I instruct one demanded, than it cannot refuse
Translated to Portuguese:
Eu instruo um exijido, do que não pode recusar
Translated back to English:
I instruct exijido, of that he cannot refuse
Translated to Spanish:
Mando a exijido, de eso que él no puede rechazar
Translated back to English:
Demanded control to, of which it cannot reject

Just the German back and forth of this one. I think everyone knows the original.

Ignorance of the fight since 1973. Longer than we intended this

“The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.”


“Vixen the brown express has the appropriate ramificata in the dog I take.”

Yep, poetry produces interesting results…

My favorite Marillion lyric:

The sky was Bible black in Lyon
When I met the Magdelene
She was paralysed in her streetlight
She refused to give her name.

And a ring of violet brusies
They appeared upon her arm
200 francs for sanctuary and
She led me by the hand
To a room of dancing shadows where all the heartache
And from the glowing tongues of candles I heard a
whisper in my ears
I can hear your heart


The sky was black of the bible the Lione, when I came to the contact
of Magdelene, that was gelaehmt of streetlight he in the relative, of
which, he I rejected, giving relati that you name. And the magenta-red
ones of the brusies of a cycle of the red one it has looked like
already in the relative handspike of 200 free notes for the zone and
it has executed it of the hand to a space of the colors that danced,
where the favorable transaction of all the love he disappears and felt
to say the Sprachenrougeoyantes in the candles that bisbiglia in my
ears, that I can feel its internal part



Ahh yes. Much more elegant than the original quote.

Bender’s “Bite my shiny metal ass!”

But if you don’t tick the “Include Chinese, Japanese and Korean” box, you get:**
We bite the average donkey, that one he them polishers of the metal!**

I went with the classic ‘The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak’.

Without asian languages included:

The alcohol becomes ausgebritten, but the meat is weak person.

With the asian languages:

The brains are lucky, but the meat is weak person.

The Straight Dope Messege Board


The book of the right betaeubenden the computers main of the painting.

At least we can take comfort in the fact that ‘hello’ stays ‘hello.’ But if we venture into any kind of multiple word territory, we’re risking hilariousness.

From Douglas Adams:
“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime, doubly so.”

“The time is an illusion. The time eats at noon therefore in two.”

Not too bad considering it included the Oriental languages.