This assignment is to, using google translate, find something that does not translate well across languages and give some thought to it. Given the western theme of the class, I thought I might take it just a step further, and since many western saying are idioms, mix them up and see what I come out with after translating them to a few languages then back. I used sayings from Legend of America.
- Don’t name a cow you plan to eat. > Armenian >Corsican > Chinese > Hawaiian >English = I found ” ship. (Ok, maybe that was too much.)
- There never was a horse that couldn’t be rode, there never was a rider that couldn’t be throwed. > Estonian >Esperanto > Irish >English = It was not a horse that can not be climbed the occupier could not be throwed. (Ok, now not enough)
- Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from any direction. > Belarussian > Hebrew > Maltese > Vietnamese > Korean > English = At the front never a good cow, horse back or a fool from any direction.
- The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with watches you shave his face in the mirror every morning. >Afrikaans > Zulu > Arabic > Japanese > Chinese > English > Maybe they are difficult to deal with, every morning shave my face in the mirror of time. (Mirror of time seems pretty metaphysical and philosophical, that quote might have even more wisdom now if you can access it.)
And now, for one grand finale, I shall find a substantially long saying and run it through every language in translate. I don’t know if it could get more jumbled than that first result, though. Turns out it can.
“After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral: When you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut. ” Turned into “Taurus dark Puma statement of value Beckett Robert B and soul.”
I can see how a few of those words appeared… but most of that is nonsense. Natural languages are a pretty interesting and complex things. Maybe I need the time mirror to sort all this out.