Archive for August, 2006
Inspired by a post from Sadish:
Now that you are a grown-up you are allowed to have __________ and _________
Now that you are a grown-up you are not allowed to have __________ and _________
alternatively titled Clichés are us. Wonder how many times those three words have been abused since the release of the film. Oh wait – 62 million! Oh wait, let me dig in the bookmarks a little…. here it is, Carl Tashian’s Lost in translation lets you see what happens when an English phrase is translated by computer back and forth between 5 different languages. So if we start off with a relatively simple snippet from the Sanyo VI-2300 manual (pdf):
You’ll get the most out of your phone if you read each section. However, if you’d like to get right to a specific feature, simply locate that section in the Table of Contents and go directly to that page. Follow the instructions in that section, and you’ll be ready to use your phone in no time.
We end up with:
_ majority of ricev of You_ll its telephone, if you legg each section_ nevertheless if you_d with a specific unit for divent like exact, you the simple fact of trov that the section when satisfer and entr you dirigem this pagination _ obbed the section done of the instruction, and you_ll to wait for the use for utilizz its telephone between anything _
Not a fair test? Well there’s a rather good Wired article by Steve Silberman about the history and far distant future of accurate machine translation.
Anyway, I logged on to finish a post about favourite forrun words and ask about yours but this story from the BBC caught my eye and raised a quiet chuckle:
Cyclists were left confused by a bilingual road sign telling them they had problems with an inflamed bladder.
The “cyclists dismount” sign between Penarth and Cardiff became “llid y bledren dymchwelyd” in Welsh – literally “bladder inflammation upset” (or tip or overturn).
It is possible that an online translation led to confusion between cyclists and cystisis.
Which led me to dig up some other stories in the pending to blog folder (Gordon will be so proud of me!).
…the longer you leave it the harder it is to start again. Blogging that is. And he‘s so right.
So instead of hiding away feeling miserable, here’s a filler post to get me started again. More soon. But first I’m off to reply to emails and catch up on what’s been happening in your corners of the world.
…when you’re about to go on a mini (working-ish) holiday. We’ll be wending our way to the Lincolnshire Wolds at the crack of dawn, hopefully ending up at a lake near Theddlethorpe St Helen which is just south of Grimsby and Kingston upon Hull.
It’s possible that I’ll have unbridled access to a borrowed wifi laptop but that could be a vicious rumour. Failing that, see you all Sunday. Be good. And if you can’t be good, be careful :-)