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Translation Exercise - De File — LiveJournal
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Translation Exercise
The title of my last entry was in German:
Laß mich in Ruhe, ohne Ruhe, berührt vom Riß zwischen der Ruhe und dem Rest
I thought I'd take counter_memory's lead and play with a translation engine to see what results I'd get.

I tried Babelfish. Here's the German translated into English:
Leave me affected in peace, without peace, by the tear between the peace and the remainder
Then into Spanish:
Déjeme afectado en paz, sin paz, por el rasgón entre la paz y el resto
Then into Dutch:
Afectadoen van Déjeme paz, zonde paz, por resto van Gr rasgón entre La paz y Gr
Then into French:
Afectadoen de Déjeme paz, le péché paz, le por resto van Gr rasgón entre tiroir paz y gr
Then back into German:
Afectadoen von Déjeme paz die Sünde paz, das por Restaurant Van Gr rasgón zwischen Schublade paz gr dort
And finally back to English
Afectadoen of Déjeme paz the sin paz, por the restaurant Van Gr rasgón between drawer paz gr there
Pretty strange, isn't it?

I realized, though, that I'd made the mistake off translating the Dutch into Spanish even though there's no option to do that. No wonder everything went so rapidly awry! So I went back and translated the Spanish above into French instead:
Déjeme touché en paix, sans paix, par le rasgón entre la paix et le reste
Then back into German:
Déjeme, das in Frieden ohne Frieden durch das rasgón zwischen dem Frieden und dem Rest betroffen ist
And again back into English, where I've taken the liberty of italicizing the words that are clearly "foreign":
Déjeme, which is concerned between the peace and the remainder in peace without peace by rasgón
Got that?

I next tried for something less absurd, starting with German into French:
Laisser-moi dans un repos, sans repos, affecté de la déchirure entre le repos et le reste
And then into Spanish:
Dejar en un descanso, sin descanso, afectado del rasgón entre el descanso y el resto
And back to English:
To leave in a rest, without rest, affected of rasgón between the rest and the rest
That captures the bilingual pun quite nicely, but the word rasgón still needs translation, which Babelfish won't provide:
To leave in a rest, without rest, affected of rip between the rest and the rest.
Fix the prepositions and articles and you get something that comes reasonably close to what I was trying to convey in the German:
To leave at rest, without rest, affected by the rip between rest and the rest.
The imperative in the original German is important, though, so I'll work that in:
Let me rest, without rest, affected by the rip between rest and the rest.
One more pass and I have something I can live with:
Let me rest, restless, feeling the rip between rest and the rest.
Time to head back to my more melancholy pursuits.
3 comments or Leave a comment
hollsterhambone From: hollsterhambone Date: May 7th, 2005 05:51 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Do you remember the telephone game from childhood? This is like the Bablefish version...
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: May 7th, 2005 06:30 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Oh, yes. It's amazing how quickly everything breaks down.
From: uneasytruce Date: May 7th, 2005 10:49 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I can't blame Babelfish for the confusion. As a speaker (and appreciater) of multiple languages, I'm always amused by the outcome of direct, human translation--from just one language to another! German to English is famous, for translating properly while losing all of the nuance and extended attributes of the ancient language. Our newer language just doesn't have the richness, history, or complexity to capture and reflect all of the meanings from the German.

Perhaps my favorite, is Japanese translations (again, human experts do the work) into English. Buy any Sony minidisc product, from an international port like Singapore. The English instructions translated directly from the Japanese, will sound like something from another planet: "The device of an offering which selects it favors clean area. Temperature of an environment is 2.0 C until 28.5 C. Dry likes it better." Now, all of the words in those sentences were English, but....!
3 comments or Leave a comment