What happens when an English phrase is translated (by computer) back
and forth between 5 different languages? The authors of the Systran
translation software probably never intended this application of
their program. As of April 2002, translation software is almost good
enough to turn grammatically correct, slang-free text from one
language into grammatically incorrect, barely readable
approximations in another. But the software is not equipped for 10
consecutive translations of the same piece of text. The resulting
half-English, half-foreign, and totally non sequitur response bears
almost no resemblance to the original. Remember the old game of
“Telephone”? Something is lost, and sometimes something is
Barrett, Lost in Translation
It's a neat little application that uses BableFish to convert to and from
English five times and produces some rather amusing
translations. We have years yet before anything remotely close
to a universal translator is invented.
Oh, and the title? That's what you get when you translate a transliteration of an
company into Chinese through the above application.
You have my permission to link freely to any entry here. Go
ahead, I won't bite. I promise.
The dates are the permanent links to that day's entries (or
entry, if there is only one entry). The titles are the permanent
links to that entry only. The format for the links are
simple: Start with the base link for this site: http://boston.conman.org/, then add the date you are
interested in, say 2000/08/01,
so that would make the final URL:
You can also specify the entire month by leaving off the day
portion. You can even select an arbitrary portion of time.
You may also note subtle shading of the links and that's
intentional: the “closer” the link is (relative to the
page) the “brighter” it appears. It's an experiment in
using color shading to denote the distance a link is from here. If
you don't notice it, don't worry; it's not all that
It is assumed that every brand name, slogan, corporate name,
symbol, design element, et cetera mentioned in these pages is a
protected and/or trademarked entity, the sole property of its
owner(s), and acknowledgement of this status is implied.