The Babelfish game

My Fu is BestYou absolutely have to try this. It is the most fun ever. Seriously.

Babelfish is an altavista tool for translating phrases between languages. This is cool in and of itself. However – translating back again can be an endless source of amusement. Do the following:

Step 1: Open two browser tabs/windows to Babelfish. Click here twice for simplicity.

Step 2:  Set one window to translate English to Japanese. Set the other to translate Japanese to English.

Step 3: Enter a phrase in the English to Japanese window and translate it.

Step 4: Cut and paste the resulting Japanese characters into the Japanese to English window.

Step 5: Translate that in all it’s glory. Try and make sense of it. Laugh arse off. Rinse and repeat until cheerful.

For example…

English phrase:
“Richard is awesome. He is the sexiest guy in the world who is not Brad Pitt. I want him so bad he makes my loins ache. More than that I want him to link me. I want him to link me so bad. I’ve been very naughty and I need to be hit by a deluge of  links to be taught a lesson. Signed, blog fangirl.”

リチャードは驚くばかりである。彼は貝折れ釘Pitt の世界の最もセクシーな人である。私は彼が私の腰部の痛みを作る悪い状態従って彼がほしいと思う。それより多く私によっては彼が私をつないでほしい。私に よっては彼が悪い私をそうつないでほしい。私は非常にいたずらであり、レッスンを教えられるリンクの大洪水によって当られる必要がある。署名される、 blog のfangirl 。

Engrish Back-translation:
“Richard it keeps being surprised. He is the sexiest person of the world of shellfish hooked nail Pitt. Bad when I him have made the pain of my hip you think therefore that we want him. To be more than that depending upon me we want him connecting me. Depending upon me so we want connecting me where he is bad. I am very mischievous, it is necessary to hit by the large flood of the link which can teach the lesson. You sign, fangirl of blog. “

Woah – I think I might have been channeling raincoaster, or maybe nursemyra or stillettogirl, for a minute there.

Try it – it’s tremendous fun. If anything you get is that funny, post to the comments or your own with a link. If there’s a good enough response I might do a highlights package in a week.

Hat tip to I Can Has Cheezburger for the inspiration. This is my stripped back version. Theirs has a lot more steps to LOL-Kitteh it. If that makes any sense…


39 Responses to “The Babelfish game”

  1. 1 elfinugget 27 April, 2007 at 1:07 am

    🙂 Actually, my inspiration for the “engrishing” came from, so creds to them too!! 🙂 They have a link called “Make your own Engrish”, which has basically those instructions. 🙂

    It’s a great fun game, no? 🙂 thanks for the cross-link to mah humble kitteh translator.

  2. 3 Stiletto 27 April, 2007 at 3:13 am

    Hilarious! I think I’ll give it a whirl!

  3. 4 Envelope Filter 27 April, 2007 at 10:47 am

    Elf: No worries, any time – I’m a big fan. And you being at the top of WordPress blogs for so long suggests I’m not the only one. I doubt you need the link…
    Stiletto: Let us all know how you get on.

  4. 5 Stiletto 27 April, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    This morning I cruised over to Envelope Filter’s masterpiece blog to get my fix. Little does he know that I had to lick a huge pile of envelopes filled with tons of bills which made me think of him. But let him be duped into thinking I’m a swooning fan of creamy static sauce.

    私の苦境を得るために今朝私は封筒フィルターの傑作のblog に巡航した。少し彼は私が私を彼について考えさせる手形のトンで満ちていた封筒の巨大な山を舐めなければならなかったことを知っている。しかし彼をである考えること私にだまされたあるクリーミーで静的なソースのswooning ファンが許可しなさい。

    n order to obtain my predicament now morning I cruised to blog of the masterpiece of the envelope filter. A little he must lick the enormous mountain of the envelope which is full at the ton of bill to which I have of me think concerning him has known that. But him certain being creamy it is deceived in thing me who am and think the swooning fan of the static source permits.


  5. 6 Stiletto 27 April, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    But I’m curious, why does it have to be Japanese?

    Here’s another one but in Chinese:

    I this morning the cruise obtain my fixed to envelope filter masterpiece blog. He knew that, I must lick the giant pile of envelope with to cause me to think his ton bill is filled. But lets him is deceived to enter thought I am a butterfat shape static sauce swooning ventilator.

    And German:

    This morning I crossed more rueber for blog the masterpiece of the envelope filter, in order to receive my embarrassment. He knows few that I had to lick a very large pile of the envelopes, which were filled with tons of calculations, which let me think of him. But you leave it are uebertoelpeltes in thinking me are swooning a fan of the sahnigen static sauce.

    And Greek:

    This morning I travelled beyond in the masterpiece of filter of files blog in order to I take my imprinting. Few it knows that it should glew’sw a enormous pile of files that they filled with the tons of accounts that me made think ton But him you leave to be in the thought that I am a swooning fan of creamy static sauce.

  6. 8 Envelope Filter 27 April, 2007 at 6:47 pm


    Well spotted. It hadn’t occurred to me to try other languages…
    Must have been the sleep deprivation. Had to get up for work.

    Interesting to see the differences.

  7. 10 elfinugget 27 April, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    Actually most asian languages work well, because of their particularly awkward-to-us syntax. German works pretty well, too, and is my “alternate” for those of us who can’t display the right character sets; again, it’s mostly because of syntax differences. It also helps to have various nouns-modifying-nouns (“envelope filter”) to really throw a wrench into it.

    Japanese is just the first one that comes to mind, as many “engrish” examples come from Japan. 🙂

    🙂 I’m proud to be a part of the Cheezburger site, I wrote that “tutorial” after having posted several long rambling replies in all-kitteh-speeks and several posters commented that I could probably teach classes in “Kitteh as a Second Language” because I’m obviously fluent in it.

    So I sat down and wrote a course. 😀 Thanks to ICHC’s popularity, my little submission is getting a lot more attention than I’d have imagined. 🙂 (And I got upgraded to “Nugget” status on the site. HEH!)

    Anyway, pleased to meet you all. My next suggestion involves those sometimes-nice-sometimes-annoying family christmas letters….


  8. 11 Envelope Filter 28 April, 2007 at 12:32 am

    Oh man I need the christmas letter thing. I usually send this massive bulk ‘summary of year’ email thing out to all my friends and most of my family and then drop small personal cards/notes for the individual touch later. I could really use some LOL kitteh this year to break up the monotony.

    Will look forward to it.

  9. 12 raincoaster 29 April, 2007 at 9:45 am

    Can we work squid into the Christmas letter thing? You know…”Suzie got her braces off and earned three new badges in Girl Scouts. Denny sacrificed his first baby at the Walpurgis rite and was rewarded with a vision of shoggoths frolicking in ye outer plane…” etc.

  10. 13 Stiletto 29 April, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    For the Love of the Gods, Raincoater, I think your obsession of squid downright borders on beastiality!

  11. 14 Envelope Filter 29 April, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    We especially of the Christmas letter can use the squid? …”Suzie the support has known that the badge whose three of profit and the girl scouts is new is obtained in her. Denny in the ceremony of Walpurgis designated that first baby as sacrifice, plane surface outside ye…”and so on with could give the range of vision and remuneration of shoggoths which plays.


  12. 15 nursemyra 29 April, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    ok I typed in:

    “the nurse with the hourglass figure promises to give you a mind blowing experience”

    and this is what I got:

    “The nurse promises you by the dripping of a water clock image to give the experience which you the brains blows”

    now if I can just stop thinking about the dripping water clock…

  13. 17 raincoaster 2 May, 2007 at 1:06 am

    Those Cheezburgerists are all squidded up now. Jump on the tentacular juggernaut, she’s leaving the dock!

  14. 18 Bill Blunt 11 May, 2007 at 7:46 am

    Yes – a great fun exercise: and you can try it with Google Translate, too!

    All the Best

    Bill Blunt

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