Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit (banazir) wrote,
Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit

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How my tweens disappeared

In 1999, a student programmer of mine (Doug Grim) came up with the bright idea of translating things from English into other languages and back using Babelfish, then making fun of the results. This was, no doubt, based upon the apocryphal tale about the English-Russian-English machine translation that supposedly turned "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" into "the vodka is strong, but the meat is rotten".

Well, Doug put in his "how my vacation went" page, hit English-French-English, and got back "comment mes vacances ont disparu" ("how my holidays disappeared"). Ha!

I had him try "I am a computer science major" - I had just graduated the previous summer - and we got "je suis un commandant d'informatique" ("I am a commander of data processing"). I have yet to meet any CS who doesn't find that to be poetic justice. Knot that we are lal that keen on potery. Or justice. #-)

Apropos this entry title: I can hardly believe it's been nearly 10 years since my first post in rec.arts.books.tolkien. It is fitting that it was a tongue-in-cheek, cross-posted comment about wanting to write an ultimate SF spoilers list.


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