Friday, November 2, 2007

Sit on this and Translate

When using Babelfish to translate something extremely important into Portuguese the other day, I was not at all surprised that once I translated the Portuguese message back into English the entirety of the message was a little bit skewed in it's terminological exactitude (thanks Churchy). This phenomenon is nothing new, as many a bored internet veteran could attest. I was however, particularly proud of the transformation that had affronted my usual and none-to-sarcastic sign-off of 'kind regards'.

What Babelfish has chosen to change it to was:

Amiable consideration,

Which is no doubt a fairly literal interpretation of both 'kind' and 'regards' but is no less fundamentally awesome for being so. I started to wonder if other languages had a harsher interpretation of those two words, depending on their culture and language. Let's have a look at German, shall we?

Friendly respect,

Gee, that's swell... although it does bode for some rather ominous imaginings of what my unfriendly respect might be. Even still, it's not like you're going to be confused with being sympathetic to the Nazi party any time soon. Let's move on.


Sincere Friendships,

That is of course until everyone else wants to do it too, then we'll simply object for the sake of being argumentative. Oh but you gotta love the French. When my French friend Cedric was staying with me a few years ago, he walks up to me in the morning and says "Oh Davey, I am so angry!"

"Ced! Why are you angry? Is it something I've done?"

"No no.. I am angry! I need to eat something!"

Poor dude was hungry. So I made him eat Vegemite. That's called 'Forging Bilateral Relations'. Take a note.


Kind Cares,

.. I'm sure he does. But I don't! Ha ha. Ha. heh. Eye ties. LOVE those guys.


Heart privity,

What the HELL? What is privity? You may as well be signing off Heart Cavity for all the good that one is going to do you. (Mental note to sign off Heart Cavity next time I email Will. Mental note reminder about previous mental note.)


Kind point,

Well, yeah, but you're still pointing dude.

After amusing myself for countless hours looking up the various incantations of cultural pleasantries, I noticed an odd translation option at the bottom of the drop down box:


Norseman, eh? What, those sweet and doddering old soothsayers from a bygone era? Weren't they known for constructing lavish wedding gifts and throwing dainty morning teas? Surely they'll have have some heart warming way of bidding their fellow countrymen adieu. Surely.


Pfft. As if any of my friends have crops. What a gyp.


eleanor bloom said...

Gee, that Norse will come in handy eh?

Privity: "Knowledge of something private or secret shared between individuals, especially with the implication of approval or consent."

Heart secret? I'd be careful of using that one...

(Craziness. No wonder I've never been flash at languages. English is nutty enough if you ask me.)

Jo said...

Signing off recently, my finger slipped. It became:

Best regards,

davey said...

Thanks for clearing that up for me, although keeping secrets isn't really my forté. I'm much better at starting malicious rumours, like that one I started a while back about you dating Ray Martin simply because he was dynamite in the sack.

That's pretty gangster of you babe. Speaking of, how are you with execution style killings and gang banging related social events? I have some openings in my posse.

Jo said...

Huh. A girl can't really talk about the openings in her posse.

People might misunderstand.

Best regards,
Ice T.