Sunday, October 02, 2005

Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation: I discovered this site ages ago and have just found it again in my Furl archive. (Why did I choose Furl and not Del-icio-us, by the way?)

"What happens when an English phrase is translated (by computer) back and forth between 5 different languages? "

Today I fed it what I take to be the take-home message from "Broken Flowers", the latest Jim Jarmusch film and it came up with this:

"The experience more, must come the future propping therefore very those that we are the gift that we have."

Can you guess what the original sentence was before it was mashed up through five sequential translations? (I can feel a classroom application coming on here...)

2 comments:

Deborah said...

No idea and too exhausted to figure it out;
but even a first word for word translation is a laugh let alone five.
I read a cutting criticism of Broken Flowers which implied that it was difficult to imagine why the ex's would find whathisname s├ęduisant (sorry this is after a glass or two)
Found lying around the Utopia mag criticism .... I can't stand ANY of their stuff, it is just one long repetition of how wonderful all the films are ... give us a break

Lesley said...

Well, the original sentence was "The past is over, the future isn't here yet, so all we have is the present". I enjoyed the film except for the end which was frustrating but probably deliberately so, given that take-home message. I quite like Bill Murray, he's a sort of cross between John Wayne, Jack Nicholson and someone else whose name escapes me. I agree with you on those laudatory write-ups and I also thought the on-screen light quality in the Utopia was appalling.