Friday, 21 August 2009

A-a-a-a-a-and relax.

It is a great comfort to me, knowing that you are all out there. My people, gritting your teeth at superfluous apostrophes and throwing your collective hands up in horror at dangling participles. I could kiss the lot of you, so I could!

Anyway, having recovered from the agony inflicted by the headline writer of a supposed national newspaper (which I will from now on always call The Scot'sman - thanks McBobo!), I bring you a timewaster for the weekend. I think I have mentioned in the past that we have spent some hilariously idle hours in the Loth family with the Google translation engine. Much amusement can be gained from taking a well know phrase or song lyric in English, translating it a few times into other languages (German, Japanese and Korean are always good) and then back into English. The results can be devastating. My younger son has at times laughed so hard he nearly vomited.

This was obviously a popular enough pastime that someone has kindly done the hard work and produced Whoever that was, I love him. Or her. Or them. The site is a simple work of genius: you type in an English phrase, the site translates it into Japanese. And back to English. And Japanese again. And it keeps going until it reaches equilibrium, ie until the two phrases in English and Japanese match. Or until the machine gets bored (which it usually does if you give it, say, the entire lyrics of "American Pie" to play with.)

This is, I warn you, a time waster of epic proportions. Once you start, you will keep coming up with stuff to stick in there. Would you like some examples? Some of our favourites:

"Thy finest gifts in store, on her be pleased to pour" (one of the lines from the UK national anthem in case you don't recognise it, asking God to give the Queen lots of good stuff)


"The best gift shop that you fill with her"


"Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?"


"He assumed I knew auld lost?"

and our piece de resistance

"A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush"


Two birds with one hand, the value of President Bush"

I recommend having a wee play on it but can't take any responsibility if you are still there two hours later, scouring the internet for Pink Floyd lyrics to put in and giggling to yourself. You have been warned. (And if you get any particularly good results, come back and post them in a comment, won't you?)


  1. When I was a kid in school (we called them 'public schools' and mine was Victoria PS) we used to sing both verses at every assembly. Only I started out singing 'on him be pleased to pour'. I clearly remember the announcement of the death of George VI. Yipe.
    I am presently repairing similar apostrophe madness and other messes from my organization's policy book. When I finish, I am going to try out the translator on 'true patriot love in all thy sons command'. Can hardly wait.

  2. Maybe I will add an apostrophe. Hmmm.

  3. The comment thing at the bottom got pretty snarky about the apostrophe, but it had no trouble with the line of our anthem.
    When I tried 'With glowing hearts we see thee rise, the true north strong and free' however, I got 'We are please refer to the strong rise in the heart of a passionate free North.' Good, but the first pass back into English made it 'We shall rise, north strong, passionate heart to see for free.' an all time winner, I figure.
    I am tempted to try Chaucer.

  4. I quite enjoyed "The curfew tolls the knell of parting day"

  5. Be still my beating heart


    His batting is still very powerful

    LMAO! And I promised I would go to bed an hour ago. You are a baaaaaad woman Loth.

  6. Loth! Indeed! You are a VERY bad woman for propagating this site - I should be going to bed now, but fat chance now I've found this utter gem!

    Wooooooh, it's even more fun if you lift stuff from and plug it in. This is great fun :-D

  7. Dear L'oth of Fitness-Studio Funktioniert Nicht, Please! You're leaving too many timesink traps in my way. Stop it!

    PS: L'oth sounds rather Klingon. No no no, m-mustn't find English Klingon translator, m-m-…

  8. Oh no. Why did you introduce me to this.. this... time thief! I have enough of those already ;)

  9. FYI, I put in "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush", and ended up with "One 12:59 1 2 3 1 hour, 1 block, the first two minutes, the hand is worth two birds". It's a neverending translation party!