Playing with a webtoy: Bad Translator

by Jeremy Brock

Flooring and coating the silent music selection sufficiency have an accepted by the flower pots. Aothintisit in UK.

Yeah.

Here’s a cute little webpage called Bad Translator.

I fed it this, but broken into two parts to accommodate the software’s 250-character limit:

Mad mutant children of the poisoned sky
embrace the rafters with prehensile fins.
Inverted over melted lawns, they scream
the silent twisted landscape’s requiem–
a hymn of praise to those who caught the fumbled
scepter of the human dynasty–
As, jubilant, the scavengers emerge
to celebrate our generosity.

35 iterations later it spat out  Flooring and coating the silent music selection sufficiency have an accepted by the flower pots. Aothintisit in UK.

‘Aothintisit’ doesn’t show up in any of the American dictionaries I have ready to hand here. It seems to be a mangling of ‘authenticities’ that happened somewhere between Bulgarian, Arabic, and Czech, with some initial help from the French. Oh, yes: I particularly enjoy the fact that Bad Translator saves the text of each iteration so you can go back and read through a window’s worth of loss in translation.

Though I likely needn’t point this out, I will anyway: None of this proves anything derogatory about the programming skills of the people who wrote either the translator software or the web script that feeds it. In fact I’d be rather surprised if any team of human translators would produce results that were any more coherent than this when given input such as … whatever the hell that was. Even when dealing with common and straightforward prose, the text is guaranteed to get mangled when bouncing back and forth between languages as diverse as English, Hungarian, and Chinese among many others. This would seem doubly true if the production of pathological results were the entire goal of the exercise.

In fact, if this exercise suggests anything at all it’s that there are some environments where, over the course of many midnight shifts, a human mind can start to wander down some pretty unpleasant paths.

Nevertheless, I still think Bad Translator can be a pretty entertaining webtoy.

 

Advertisements