TNB Night Owl – Translator Fails

Word cloud of President Obama's State of the Union Address 2013 by Kurtis Garbutt

It can be difficult to translate between languages. It’s as much of an art as a science; some phrases have no direct translation, while others may not make much sense when taken literally.

Nevertheless, the creation of automated translators have made life easier. There exist a number of useful interpretation programs, allowing (just as an example) people to write phrases like “Do Not Bend” on packages being sent throughout the world.

Just how accurate some of those programs are has been put to the test, for comedic effect, by Malinda Kathleen Reese, a popular video creator for Youtube. A trained singer, she takes the lyrics for existing songs and then sends them through Google Translate multiple times. English to German, for example, and then maybe to Chinese, to French, to Gaelic, and back to English.

In theory, what a person would be left with would still strongly approximate the original song. In theory.

In practice, the opposite is usually true. Particularly when you have the ability to try a few times until you hit upon just the right group of languages to produce something memorable.

As her popularity has grown, she’s become more comfortable with playing to the humor aspects and taking advantage of video editing.

Oh, and she’s stepped away from songs on occasion. Recently, for example, for movie quotes, and for Independence Day. That resulted in some… interesting… interpretations of some key American documents.

Question of the night: Who’s your favorite female comedian?

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.