Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

What Would That Goo-Google Be Googling?

I know we've long since gotten used to the way Google celebrates holidays and other special occasions. Still, there are times when the commemoration penetrates the leathery skin of habit to prod a pleasure center, as today's tribute to Dr. Seuss does for me:
It's worth pointing out, however, that honoring the creator of The Cat in the Hat in not a multilingual affair. A few years back, when cpratt was visiting, we were surprised to learn that even though Theodore Geisel's works are wildly popular here, only a few of them have been translated into German, perhaps the language into which the most English texts are translated. It made sense, once we thought about it, given the difficulty of rendering made-up words that still convey semantic content by virtue of the patterns of phonemes they demonstrate. But if you can translate poetry or Finnegan's Wake, why not Dr. Seuss?

I was struck, looking at the Google home page in various languages this morning, to note both that the name "Google" and its characters are not transliterated -- it's the same in Arabic and Cyrillic as it is in English -- and that the "Elmer Fudd" language option is available everywhere. Here are some of the languages you can choose from as rendered in Basque:
This makes me wonder whether it might not be worth the effort to translate Dr. Seuss books after all. Certainly, the worldview espoused in his work is far more advanced, from an ethical standpoint, than the multinational-friendly ideology we regularly try to force other countries to adopt.

P.S. I am shocked that Google has not made a form of Elvish available as one's language of preference. What were they thinking?
Tags: humor, internet, language, media

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