Let us now investigate the language of …well, language. Why are there so many languages? Why are cultures largely defined by the language spoken within specific boundaries? Why can’t we all just get along – linguistically?
I’m not sure that I have answers for these questions. I’m not sure that anyone does. But the fact that there are so many languages and cultures on this beautiful planet is one of the driving forces behind this blog.
The book of Genesis describes the destruction of the
Now, what I think was so nifty about the Rosetta Stone, is that allowed us to undo some of that destruction. The combined Demotic, Hieroglyphics, and ancient Greek inscriptions allowed us to decipher one of the world’s lost civilizations – ancient
And now, Carl Tashian is again piecing together the scattered fragments of Babel with his website Lost in Translation – and then pulling them right back down, burning them, scattering the ashes, and whizzing overzealously on the remains - all for the sake of a good time.
And a good time it is.
Tashian’s site allows you to enter any phrase or sentence – and translate that entry back and forth between five different languages, using a dynamic interface with Babelfish.
Here’s an example. I entered this sentence:
Rosetta Rants is the coolest and most interesting website that I have ever come across during my travels in cyberspace.
And I got this “babelized” translation:
Rants I gave to Rosetta the site of the Web of frischste is one and more interesting, of which everything agrees I found during my courses in Cyberspace.
This came from an English to French to English to German to English to Italian to English to Portuguese to English to Spanish to English translation. And if we tell the program to include Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, we get this:
The calmed site of the Web must, the one that interests the praise of the declared rosette of the certain material of that inside inside,the course for the low point, period of the station of the work more when cyber, is most interesting.
Notice how the length increased quite a bit? This is a perfect example of Chinglish, which will be explained at a further time. For now, all you need to know is that Lost in Translation provides hours of unstoppable Rosetta Fun!
I definitely get this website. No further translation necessary.
(Except for the translation done on that website, because that’s the point).
Update: Greg Laden's blog has some great examples of Babelized sentences.