Machine translation fun


187 Responses to “Machine translation fun”

  1. Anonymous says:

    How much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?

    —-> “It is doubtful this phrase will ever reach equilibrium.”

    I has broken teh interwebs.

  2. garys says:

    The United States defeated Japan in World War II.
    U.S. defeated Japan in World War II.
    Japan defeated the U.S. in World War II.
    Japan defeated the U.S. in World War II.

    Apparently, history is written not by the victors, but by the translators.

  3. arkizzle / Moderator says:


    Try removing the s; pokemons.

  4. Anonymous says:

    you can’t step in the same river twice
    You are in the river, not a single step

  5. Anonymous says:

    A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem. (Albert Einstein)


    Confusion and conflict, the main purpose of the language.

  6. gabrielm says:

    This is my favorite variant so far:

    I am president, I can handle the bird.

  7. anaphoria says:

    This is amazing.

    IN: The truth is not for all men, but only for those who seek it.

    OUT: The truth, please contact us.

  8. pimlottc says:

    “It is doubtful that this phrase will ever reach equilibrium.” -> “This is necessary to achieve the balance of the phrase.”

  9. Anonymous says:

    Wow, this is really enlightening… The first page of Google’s TOS turns into this:

    1. , Google, January 2007 2007 agreemen bushels, Google (if you are collectively, the “service” is, Google’s products, software, Web services, remove the description of the relationship between sites

  10. Anonymous says:

    Boing Boing. A directory of wonderful things.

    BoingBoing. Amazing, please change to that directory.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Kind of a fun little loop:

    IN: “The restroom has been closed for three hours straight.”

    This causes the translator to keep adding an additional ‘today’ into the resulting sentence with each successive translation until it belly-flops.

    OUT: “The toilet is closed today..”

  12. Anonymous says:


    I’ve found a triple loop:

    “Our results show that eukaryotic oligosaccharyltransferase is a multifunctional enzyme that acts at the crossroads of protein modification and protein folding.”


    Function of the eukaryotic oligosaccharyltransferase enzyme proteins are the result of changes in the process of protein folding.

    oligosaccharyltransferase enzyme is the result of changes in the process of protein folding in the eukaryotic protein function.

    oligosaccharyltransferase enzyme is the result of the change in the protein folding process of eukaryotic protein function.

    Function of the eukaryotic oligosaccharyltransferase enzyme proteins are the result of changes in the process of protein folding.

  13. mdh says:

    Our Father, art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. You are in heaven and on earth. And our daily bread, please specify the date. We forgive the intrusion and against us, forgive us our trespasses. Tempt us with evil leaders KARA. British power, and glory, is forever. Amen.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I am not surprised that this phrase causes a deadlock:
    “epic fail”

  15. MrShrubber says:

    Is my head on fire, mate?

    I fire, or 2 or 1 or 2 or 3 I’m single, I have in my head? Products?

  16. Shay Guy says:

    I fed it a Firefly quote, and it took some time, but it reached equilibrium:

    The first sentence of My Immortal went through all twenty-five cycles without reaching equilibrium OR looping:

    Shinji Ikari’s line “I mustn’t run away!” becomes noticeably more badass: “I do not run!” A period instead of an exclamation point becomes “Please do not run.” No punctuation at all is “I must not run.”

    A good finishing line for a novel: “I now know I am please to complete many of you.”

  17. membeth says:

    The Centro-matic lyric I have stuck in my head resulted in infinite loop:

    “Don’t you know it’s your disaster now?”

    Made it’s little machine head hurt on my first try. Awww.

  18. mdh says:

    IN: It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.

    OUT: Idols, sound and fury, full of nothing.

  19. Anonymous says:

    for some reason, the word “marmots” breaks it. “Genius Marmot” FTW!

  20. AgentXJ9 says:

    Can’t believe this one hasn’t been tried yet:

    “All your base are belong to us”

    -> All members of the Foundation

    Which is weirdly apt…

  21. Anonymous says:

    Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside
    Oh, I like to be beside the sea

    So… Close….

    Sure, I like making bacon on the beach, who doesn’t?
    In fact, the beach and my bacon?

  22. Anonymous says:

    Instant solid state

    Live long and prosper.

  23. Marja says:

    I tried the following passage from “The Scrimshaw Butch,” by Lucas Dzmura:

    “I’ve watched this place, this “club” they used to call a bar, change over the past twenty years, too, the younger women coming in pairs, each of them wearing lipstick and spandex. It’s not something I can bring myself to understand. I am a femme. Faded now, and perhaps not so fluffy over the years as some have been, but I have loved my butches since the first time I screwed up the courage to come down here.”

    It was too long to process at once, so I ran this sentence-by-sentence without the quotes:

    “In some cases, bars and clubs, “In the future,” the young woman, lipstick NIZUSUPANDEKKUSU 20 has been changed in the last run in pairs. I can not even understand myself. Education. The first part of my time here, I, I, probably, FEJINGUFUWAFUWA love butches courage failed.”

  24. growf says:

    Eriko23@#12: “I would go out tonight but I haven’t got a stitch to wear”


    “Tonight, I’m going to wear the clothes!”

    So much more optimistic.

  25. Grumblefish says:

    Song lyrics are fun.

    David Bowie –>
    “Man of the stars, we will look at the sky. We have to meet him, it is difficult”

    Arctic Monkeys –>
    “I am KEMASU赌dance floor please refer to our reasonable price”

    Jimi Hendrix –>
    “If you’re out of here, the species is a thief, joker”

    And one political quote…
    “There are known knowns. They are well known. Known is known. In other words, we know that many people are ignorant. However, it is known as unknown. Also, I see him, please.”

  26. lj says:

    I particlarly liked:

    In: To be, or not to be; that is the question.

    Out: This is not a problem

  27. Anonymous says:

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.


    Evidence is not evidence of anything.

  28. Anonymous says:

    All your base are belong to us.
    ends in
    We belong to the base.

  29. Anonymous says:

    “The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick” (supposedly the world’s hardest English tongue twister) becomes:

    “Six of the Patriarch, the Disease of the disease in sheep, the first six”

  30. arkizzle / Moderator says:

    A sample from the PKD book, listed @22:

    The Sun Also Rises


    It is

    Nice :)

  31. Darren Garrison says:

    My favorite so far.:

    Elegantly poetic.

  32. Dr Triffid says:

    @LJ. Using a period instead of a semicolon sends it to an infinite loop.

    Also, “Go ahead, make my day” achieves instant equilibrium.

  33. Anonymous says:

    “I think, therefore I am.” -> “I, I think so.”


  34. airshowfan says:

    Let’s try the classics of machine-translation myths:

    “Out of sight, out of mind”

    “Tremendous, heart”

    Hmm, okay. Next:

    “The spirit is strong, but the flesh is weak”

    “High mental and physical weakness”


    “The vodka is potent, but the meat is rotten”

    “Vodka is the most powerful meat”

    I learned something today… I think.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Ok, I used the sentence you used to explain this:

    Enter a phrase intro Translation Party and it will translate it into Japanese and back into English as many times as it takes to reach steady state.

    and entered this into the translation party. Afer numerous tries this is what I got:

    “It is doubtful that this phrase will ever reach equilibrium.”

    You should try it yourself, some of the stuff it invented ;-) along the way gave me the giggles (after a %$% day, mind you).


  36. Fludzone says:

    “Reality is that which continues to exists long after you cease to believe in it.”

    became: “In fact, I think in the long run to stop”

  37. Tdawwg says:

    Prospero’s “We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.” becomes the lovely “Most of us are curled up to sleep with living in a dream.”

  38. janai says:

    I started writing random ridiculous sentences to see what would happen. Now I want to DO something with the random ridiculous sentences. Oh dear. Anyway, this transition I like:

    His anniversary gift to her was a small, peculiar statue that seemed to wander around the garden at night.

    -> The night of my anniversary gift to her, to wander around the small garden is a wonderful picture.

  39. pidg says:

    Best ever:

    frequent flyer


    Frequent Flyer Program



    !!!!!!!! GODZIRRAAAA !!!!!!!!!!

  40. Sheza says:

    “How much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?”


    “If the tree is, how CHAKKUCHAKKUCHAKKUCHAKKU Thursday Thursday?”

  41. Anonymous says:

    Tis the winter of our discontent

    turns into:

    Tis the winter of our discontent

  42. Spikeles says:

    Ah, quotes from famous people go so well…

    “It is better to risk sparing a guilty person than to condemn an innocent one.”
    “In this example, the innocent, good ideas, please save the danger of sin.”

    And Sarah Palin:
    “As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It’s Alaska.”
    “If Putin and his country, what to do, or you can move the air in the back of the head of the U.S. or other? Alaska.”

  43. ju2tin says:

    “Enter a phrase intro Translation Party and it will translate it into Japanese and back into English as many times as it takes to reach steady state.”


    “English, in Japan, all concerned, please provide a translation of the word transformation of the country.”

  44. ju2tin says:

    “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”


    “My country, the color of the contents of this letter, most of my life was a dream, she has loved his children.”

  45. Anonymous says:

    Fahrenheit 451 gives awesomeness in one step:

    IN: It was a pleasure to burn.
    OUT: I had to write it.

  46. Anonymous says:

    The cover of The Hitchhiker’s Guide, “Don’t Panic” becomes…

    Please do not panic.
    Please please do not panic.
    Please please please do not panic.
    Ad infinitum.

    ~D. Walker

  47. ju2tin says:

    “May the Force be with you.”


    “October 5 power, to please”

  48. Anonymous says:

    In honour of Philip K. Dick, I entered:

    “So much for the translation game, I’m off to Plowman’s Planet.”

    and I got:

    “The translation of this game, I’m off my planet Plowman.”

    Not bad, but I’m sure we can do better.

    It’s a case of art imitating people with no life. Er, people with no life imitating art?

    The dystopian future is yesterday’s news on Boing Boing!

  49. Anonymous says:

    Wow, some Tool lyrics get seriously mangled and reduced.

  50. Poor Impulse Control says:

    Fahrenheit 451 awesomeness in one step:

    IN: It was a pleasure to burn.
    OUT: I had to write it.

  51. ju2tin says:

    I found a well-known quotation that gets translated perfectly!

  52. takkulan says:

    Out of several attempts to get the translation through without changes, I only managed to get one cultural element through: “I love tentacle porn.”

  53. Anonymous says:

    “Philip Kendrick Dick predicted that there would be days like this” became the mysterious “FIRIPPUDIKKUKENDORIKKU, this Sunday.”

    What? What is going to happen this Sunday? We’ll have to wait and find out.

  54. Anonymous says:

    What is the answer to live the universe and everything?

    leads to infinite recursion.

  55. 4649 says:

    “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop?”


    “TSUTTSUSHIRORUPOPPUSU opportunities.”

  56. Tdawwg says:

    Please request me Ishmael.

  57. jordawesome says:

    This works wonders on Miss Teen South Carolina 2007′s speech:

    I personally believe, that US Americans, are unable to do so, because uh, some, people out there, in our nation don’t have maps. And uh … I believe that our education like such as in South Africa, and the Iraq , everywhere like such as …and, I believe they should uh, our education over here, in the U.S. should help the U.S.
    or should help South Africa, and should help the Iraq and Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future, for us.

    In my map, our country, America, United States. Well …. I am, Iraq, South Africa, our education, in the morning …Currently, the United States, South Africa, Iraq, Asia, building on the future of the U.S. bushel, must support the educational needs.

    Disclaimer: I had to cheat a little bit. I split the original transcript into two hunks so it would work in the translator, and the second part never achieved equilibrium, so I just took the last one it gave me.

  58. Anonymous says:

    “Boojum Snark Please see below!”

    Uh oh! Time for me to ….

  59. Clay says:


    “Those who would give up essential liberty, to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither.”


    “Yield values, you must obtain a temporary safety.”

  60. GuidoDavid says:

    “What? What is going to happen this Sunday? We’ll have to wait and find out.”

    Now, wait for the last year.

  61. siliconsunset says:

    Fair, given Gibson can lose people who natively read English…

    Smiths is simplicity in any language:

    Except when it’s less simple:

    I was only joking when I said I’d like to smash every tooth in your head.


    Seriously, in my opinion, destruction of teeth.
    Equilibrium found!
    That’s deep, man.

  62. Anonymous says:

    “Please stop laughing and give me my pants” ->
    “You can stop the laughter of my pants.”

  63. Anonymous says:

    What do they do?

    They sell merchandise. If you roll over the link at the bottom you get an on-the-fly image of a tshirt with ‘your’ phrase on it.

  64. Piers W says:

    I love cops
    Equilibrium found!

  65. Anonymous says:

    The version of the game in the PK Dick novel was to translate a headline or famous quotation and then have your opponent guess what the original was:

    “Tiger, tiger burning bright in the forest of the night becomes.”

    “Tiger Woods, Tiger burning bright at night”

  66. Abelard Lindsay says:

    Long live the New Flesh
    Long live the new Flesh

    And, although:

    You know, I hate to ask, but are “friends” electric?

    devolves, the first round of translation returns the awesome:

    You heard me, I hate “friends” What is electricity?

  67. LennStar says:

    As she is a topic at the moment, I took Daw Aung San Suu Kyi:
    “It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”
    It’s fear of injury. Tragedy, to demonstrate the power, please can reduce the risk of loss of responsibility of the victim.

    It nearly makes really good sense

  68. ZippySpincycle says:

    Even more trouble for the hapless user of the Monty Python Hungarian-to-English phrasebook: “My hovercraft is full of eels” becomes “I completely HOBAKURAFUTOUNAGI”

    Still, all is not lost. “You great poof!” morphs into “It’s perfect for you!” and “Do you want to come back to my place, bouncy bouncy?” becomes the far more harmonious “Can you move the spirit of my life?”

  69. Aloisius says:

    Hrm… “I’m looking for some used panties” translates perfectly as does “I’m looking for an ice cream vending machine” and “I have egg on my pizza.”


  70. drew3ooo says:

    Alas, poor Buck Mulligan never reaches equilibrium.

  71. wgmleslie says:

    I’m already having too much fun with this.

    Deep Ones:
    -Thank you for the generous bribe for the contract.
    -I am afraid that your father has been eaten by the hippopotamus.
    -Seldom have I met a person who so personifies stupid.

    -Your mother wears Army boots.

    My Best One (Yet):
    -Once, I was a prince with power over millions, now I sell cars with leather.

  72. Praline says:

    “That’s one small step for a man” –>
    “That’s one small step for man”

    So that explains why Armstrong flubbed it. Though it does not explain his urge to translate the epigram into Japanese and back before saying it. I conclude the moon landing was faked.


    “You can’t polish a turd” –>
    “You can’t polish a motherfucker”

    I see. Is there something I should know about Japan?

  73. Anonymous says:

    The Doors lyric:

    “people are strange when you’re a stranger, faces look ugly when you’re alone”


    “Burt is a strange case, please refer to find a stranger”

    by way of:

    “While, a strange stranger is only visible when you look ugly”

  74. xzzy says:

    Cut and paste mails from your boss for endless amusement.

  75. AnoniMouse says:

    Are we still playing with this? Well, I am at least. Here’s a new one from a random quote generator.

    The moment we choose to love we begin to move towards freedom.
    -Bell Hooks

    Well, to begin, please select the free love.

  76. jhahn says:

    I hit an infinite loop on my first try: “Just got a call from someone at the bank.”

    The English flopped back and forth between “Now, get a phone call from the bank.” and “Now, get a call from the bank.” It never reached equilibrium.

    I changed it to “Got a call from someone at the bank.” and it reached equilibrium at “If you, or you can contact the bank?”

  77. ZippySpincycle says:

    Perhaps due to the pervasive influence of Asian culture in Matt Deckard’s Los Angeles, Roy Batty’s last words hold up surprisingly well:

    “I can not believe people are looking for. Attack ships on fire on the shoulder of Orion. Near the Tannhauser gate, in the dark, CI has a brightness of the beam. Be lost in the flood of tears. Time to die.”

  78. LittleLethe says:

    Tried a little Eagle Eye Cherry, got this:

    Come tomorrow, tomorrow I’ll be gone
    Tomorrow will be announced tomorrow

    And somehow ‘bite me’ never reaches equilibrium.

  79. Anonymous says:

    Scary! It actually translates the full existential weight of Satan’s responsibility for Hell:

    farewell happy fields where joy forever dwells, hail horrors hail


    Crisis, aloof, isolated from the world, the joy of eternal happiness.


  80. edinblack says:

    A while back, a guy was doing this _mechanically_.

    “I After the Cloudy Doubly Beautifully”
    By: Matthew Battles
    Hilobrow Feb 6, 2009
    (revised version of piece from from Aug 16, 2000)

  81. J France says:

    i like to kill angry people….

    ….I have to die on the cross.


  82. GuidoDavid says:

    Gestarescala, anyone?
    That PKD novel had something pretty much like this.

  83. seyo says:

    Can someone please explain? What is the “equilibrium” in question?

    Way back in the day I used to play with altavista’s babelfish, translating things back and forth, to see what kind of ridiculous things it would produce. It would give me hours of entertainment. But I never knew or heard of this “steady state” or “equilibrium” thing…

  84. SkullHyphy says:

    Where is my mind?

    Getting Here was the fun part, though:

    Don’t be afraid, Neda
    Neda is not worried.
    Neda not worry.

    Let’s get high.
    You can get the best price.

    Why, thank you for the vote of confidence, translator.

    I will lose interest in this by tomorrow
    You lose interest in it until tomorrow.

    The translator thinks I’ll be back, apparently.

    I’ll be back -> I’ll be back

    I am going to get drunk as fcuk tonight
    Tonight, drunk sex

  85. gandalf23 says:

    “Insert tab A into slot B at a 90 degree angle.” certainly explains some of the crazy ass instructions I’ve seen in the past. :)

  86. SkullHyphy says:

    speak engrish
    English-speaking Japanese


  87. Anonymous says:

    I entered “My mother, who died when she was twenty-nine, always said “Son, you can’t have too many pickles” whenever I wanted a snack.”

    The translator died; its last gasp at attempting to find equilibrium was “He said, “” I always MOGA overprescription years, her mother, in my house died in the year 2009, it is my son.”

    I love this stuff.

  88. VagabondAstronomer says:

    “I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we’re really talking about peace.
    War is peace.”

    I’m sure that’s exactly what he meant.

  89. theatrechik77 says:

    the phrase ‘where the truth lies’ never reaches equilibrium.

  90. saintniddle says:

    The ending on this was not the fun part..but reading how it got there was fun and kinda poignant.

    “why do we carry around so much dead weight?”

  91. Marja says:

    It’s incredible how often I get the complete opposite of the original meaning.

  92. ErikO23 says:

    Smiths lyrics work great.

  93. LeeRowson says:

    This seems like a great way to get over writer’s block. I know my mind is popping with new ideas thanks to just what you’ve all posted above.

  94. TJ S says:

    Do you want to come over and have a beer after work tonight?

    Ended up with:

    Tonight? The brewery, in the morning, or a professional?

    Before it cut me off for an infinite loop.

  95. ruzel says:

    Sting (of the Police) has bad breath!

    “How my poor heart aches, with every breath you take”

    magically becomes:

    “I have bad breath or pain, or have you have all of my heart?”

  96. BrianS says:

    Jon Bon Jovi is poetic.

    I’m a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride, wanted, dead or alive.
    I’m still me, the cowboy life, death and horses.

    Guybrush Threepwood’s insults lose something.

    How appropriate, you fight like a cow.
    The beef war is necessary.

    Even Abraham Lincoln becomes ominous.

    that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government: of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
    The new birth of freedom under God, this country is the government: people, these people have disappeared from the earth.

    Gilligan’s Island was apparently about Products Products Products Products Products….

    I also put in the text from an Engrish shirt a friend of mine bought in Japan. It came out making *more* sense.

    Willed himself into contentment. It is sworn here to have it in the mind strongly and swears it.
    Make yourself happy. Here, I was forced to declare a commitment.

  97. Takuan says:

    please refer to the distinctive smell

  98. Marja says:

    “Without masters or slaves, with neither rich nor poor.”


    “In each case, the master and slave of the rich and poor.”


  99. AnoniMouse says:

    Dammit Mark. I’m working on a deadline, took a quick break and now I have a new toy.

    I played with some Douglas Adams quotes and this one was the best.

    “Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”

    Equality: (or should we call this the “truth?”)
    “Time is a fantasy. Double lunch.”

  100. Anonymous says:

    Fun stuff:

    I do = I do not.

    May the Force be with you. = October 5 power, to please

  101. Anonymous says:

    Good test quote!

    They got Burton suits, ha, you think that’s funny?
    Turning rebellion into money

    - The Clash

  102. stratosfyr says:

    I like when it answers itself:

    With great power there must also come great responsibility.

    Also, a large responsibility requires a large force.

  103. gabrielm says:

    Lincoln said what?

    “A score of 1-4 years ago, the seven continents of freedom, equality of people’s ancestors are thought to have been created to lead the country.”

  104. Steve Stair says:

    gabrielm, I tried the “usual” version

    IN: a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

    OUT: Bush is worth, is to get the bird.

    Even a computer knows Bush’s value!

  105. Anonymous says:

    “may the force be with you”
    “June 5, 2007″

  106. ErikO23 says:

    in: if its not love then its the bomb that will bring us together

    out: Love, not bombs,

  107. Anonymous says:

    Hit a loop:

    She saw seashells on the seashore. Nice to know even machines have a problem with that one!

  108. arkizzle / Moderator says:

    Tak, we’ve been rumbled!

    Anon@7: Spot on. For English speaking readers, it’s the Galactic Pot Healer.

    [the protaganist's] one entertainment is to call various friends on the worldwide telephone network and swap puzzles. These puzzles are based on imperfect translations of sayings and book titles obtained by using language translation computers available to anyone. The object of the game is to guess the original from the translation. Of course, even these entertainments are devoid of creativity, the only choice being which saying or book title to use. The author leaves one puzzle unexplained: “Bogish Persistentisms” by “Shaft Tackapple”.
    - wiki

  109. Anonymous says:

    Hey, I’ve got Dylan in my head today…

    “It don’t take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows”

    …reduced to…

    “What is expected in the wind?”

  110. arkizzle / Moderator says:


    This, from the middle:

    Freedom or death to the role?


  111. Anonymous says:

    Please, consider the use of spanish for this web. We are 450 millions of speakers.


    Here, the web, please consider the use of Spanish. 400,000,000 100005000 speaker companies.

  112. fisheggs says:

    Did anyone notice that the phrase then goes on zazzle and is put on a t-shirt in english and Japanese to be sold?

    Is this part of zazzles site?

  113. namnezia says:

    Finally, these Dylan lyrics make sense:

    Johnny’s in the basement, mixing up the medicine.
    I’m on the pavement, thinking about the government.
    The man in the trench coat, badge out, laid off, says he’s got a bad cough, wants it paid off.
    Look out kid, it’s something you did.
    God knows when but you’re doing it again.
    You better duck down the alley way, looking for a new friend.
    The man in the coon skin cap, in the big pen, wants eleven dollar bills, you only got ten.

    Johnny is a mixture of the drug underground.
    I actually have is being held by the government.
    The trench coat, badge, has been paid to the neck of a man coughing badly.
    Look at the children?
    But God knows.
    And ducks are always seen as a new friend.
    Large pen, 11, Male, coon skin caps, dollar bills.

  114. Caroline says:

    “To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die.”


    “We face the loss of Paradise Road” at steady-state.


  115. Anonymous says:

    Am I the only one that is not getting this to work, in any browser? FF IE Opera nor Chrome?

  116. kwhitefoot says:

    While searching for something to translate I found a quotation from Tom Cruise:

    “I’m glad I didn’t have to fight in any war. I’m glad I didn’t have to pick up a gun. I’m glad I didn’t get killed or kill somebody. I hope my kids enjoy the same lack of manhood.”

    Beats me how someone can say something so sensible and still be a Scientologist.

    Anyway, Translation Party came up with some weird English before giving up. Here is the final one:

    “I had to fight a war. You can use the gun for me. I will be killed, kills the people happy. Her adult children are here and please, please enjoy your vacation.”

  117. kwhitefoot says:

    Oops. Why isn’t there an edit function? It’s Tom Hanks not Tom Cruise. So no Scientology involved, thank goodness.

  118. Tezcatlipoca says:

    It works wonders with self help book phrases. It gives an air of kung fu sifu wisdom to otherwise ridiculous MBA trash……

    for example, from the immortal opus “Who moved my cheese” the slogan: “The Quicker You Let Go Of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese”


    “Now, old cheese, you can go to enjoy new cheese”

  119. Anonymous says:

    It also hauntigly poetic:

    “The time of hippopotamus at last has come to arise again”

    Becomes: “Time, Finally, the hippo”

  120. Grahamers2002 says:

    Do you feel lucky, punk?


    Do you believe in your PANKURAKKI?

    Strangely, I could totally see this having the exact same meaning.

  121. Anonymous says:

    I will travel to Japan to fuck a girl —-> I will travel to Japan to care for girls.

  122. Anonymous says:

    “In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”


    “Cthulhu R’lyeh dead, please refer to wait for a home of their dreams”

  123. userw014 says:

    Two of my favorites:

    “My kids won’t go to sleep”


    “The only things sure in this life are death and taxes.”

  124. Anonymous says:

    Chomsky’s infamous Colorless green ideas sleep furiously

  125. Philbert42 says:

    whither thou goest i will go -> wouldst thou now?

    cynical bastard

  126. coldspell says:

    I wrote a similar web app that did round-trip translations (to/from any language). My idea was if you could write (and rewrite) your input language so that the round-trip translation produced the same sentence, then presumably (!!) the intermediate translation preserved your intention.

    I know there must be exceptions, but it seems like you have a better chance if you write (or learn to write) easily translatable English.

  127. bpratt says:

    Very helpful. When I get dumb Limbaugh-esque forwards from my less progressive friends and coworkers I like to run them once forward and backwards through an online translator then send them back (hey, you wasted my time with gibberish, now enjoy this…) – I think of it as sort of an I Ching for the easily amused (that’s me). This does a much more thorough job! Brilliant.

  128. Strophe says:

    You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Well, who the hell else are you talkin’ to? You talkin’ to me? Well, I’m the only one here. Who the fuck do you think you’re talkin’ to?


    You talkin ‘to me? You talkin ‘to me? You talkin ‘to me? Well, other people hell ‘talkin? You talkin ‘to me? Well, just one. I think you talkin?

  129. Anonymous says:

    words are floating out like endless rain into a paper cup
    If at the end of words instead of paper cups, you can swim in the rain

    This is a Dadaist dream come true.

  130. bpratt says:

    “Don’t ask don’t tell” ==> “Please me”
    See? I Ching!

  131. Anonymous says:

    I have also found an “It is doubtful this phrase will ever reach equilibrium.”

    Fascinating. It just keeps adding to itself.

  132. VagabondAstronomer says:

    Never. Laughed. So. Hard.

  133. Anonymous says:

    “Enter a phrase intro Translation Party and it will translate it into Japanese and back into English as many times as it takes to reach steady state.”


    “English, in Japan, all concerned, please provide a translation of the word transformation of the country.”

  134. Rolling20s says:

    Wrote a crappy poem and translated it, line-by-line:

    I hope to find the source of happiness.
    I have looked far and wide for it, but have failed, thus far.
    Perhaps it resides in the dance of a rainbow.
    Maybe it is found in the gleam of light off of the snow.
    I think, when I reach the end of my journey, I will find that my travels were the source after all.

    I find the source of happiness.
    I think we are in front of him.
    You may have a lot of dancing rainbows.
    Perhaps the brilliance of the gleam of the snow.
    I’m at the end of the journey, I think I find the source of the trip after all.

    I find this to be a lot of fun.

  135. coldspell says:

    Translation Party is hiring.

    Any hypotheses about Translation Party does for “real”?

  136. lilbacon3 says:

    I may be too far down to get any views, but when I went to Japan in May, I found 5 awesome Engrish shirts.

    1 “Comes Suddenly. It knows the limit of the possible.” On a hot pink tee shirt!

    2 ” ‘AGAIN&AGAIN’ TOMORROWTIME! IT A FINEDAY, THEY LAYED FRISBEE ALL DAY LONG. THEY ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO HOLIDAY” On a white long sleeve with a photo of a little boy tossing a frisbee (which has the onomatopoeia “S’HOO” near it) to a happy dog.

    3 “SONG OF SEXY LOVE. Time is moved to love.” On a hot/bright yellow tee shirt.

    4 “Strong Power. Time is moved to love. Waited for quietly.”

    and finally, the one my brother chose to have…
    5 “FADDY IF IS THE GAVE” on a grass green tee. hahaha

    I hope you like them!


  137. cory says:

    Love it! I found one where at least the first translation was better than the original.

    I put in: “That bitch better have my money.”

    The first “back to english” was “Bitch better have my money,” which of course is much closer to the true original in style and tone.

    Then of course it careened off a cliff.

    Yet somehow “We recommend women of my money” still seems to have some of the original connotations..

  138. Anonymous says:

    “That’s what She said!”
    “I’m with your girlfriend!”

  139. Anonymous says:

    take me down to the paradise city where the grass is green and the girls are pretty. take me home (oh, won’t you please take me home?)


    My daughter is taking Paradise City is a pretty green lawn. My house (Oh, and I go home?)

  140. Tdawwg says:

    “Aw, he thinks he’s people….”

    I love this darn thing! Milton’s “Me miserable! Which way shall I fly infinite wrath and infinite despair?” becomes “I am miserable! My anger and despair, infinite, or one or two along the endless road, while walking??” Yeah, that’s some crazy shit for sure!

  141. dbarak says:

    I farted. >>> I was just cheese.

    It would be cool for them to do this with other languages.

  142. VagabondAstronomer says:

    “Breath deep the gathering gloom” will never reach equilibrium. It stops at “Breathe deep and mysterious”.
    Wonder what other pretentious lyrics/poems read like?

  143. VagabondAstronomer says:

    “If I leave here tomorrow, will you still remember me?” -> “I still remember the morning.”
    Lynard Skynard was never so poetic…

  144. Anonymous says:

    “Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me.” becomes very interesting.

  145. Anonymous says:

    My dog has no nose. How does he smell? Awful.


    Has the nose of a dog. Smell like him? Awful.

  146. Anonymous says:

    Ok, so as input I put the memorable phrase uttered by one Kanye West on his blog:


    which ended, fascinatingly, with:

    I am a drug addict, I will start the medication.

  147. GuidoDavid says:


    Thanks. I thought the title was the same in English.

  148. rechnen says:

    “Change we can believe in” turns into “consider whether you can change” LOL

  149. Res Cogitans says:

    The interesting thing is that very small changes can have large effects.

    My first entry:

    Then I noticed that I misspelled polyethylene and corrected it.

  150. Darren Garrison says:

    I used to do this by hand, translating through multiple languages before ending up back in English. There was some other site a couple of years back that went through multiple languages for you (I think through Babelfish.)

    Two slightly different punctuations of this (googled up) gave two quite different translations:

  151. Shay Guy says:

    Another loop:

    Are there any loops that cycle through more than two translations?

  152. gATO says:

    Now, if I use a guinea pig
    Cat, the hat comes back

    (hey, this could make a great haiku generator, if only it could spew the correct number of syllables…)

    Only when the syllables
    the haiku of the code is correct
    I have a big reason

    Also: hey, I broke it!!!

    my pokemons, let me show you them. let me show you my pokemons.

    私pokemons 、私にはこれらを表示させる。私pokemonsお見せしましょう。

    I could expect there to be a way to write “pokemons” in japanese…

  153. misshallelujah says:

    As a English-speaker learning Japanese, I adore this entirely!

    he said “son, when you grow up, will you be the savior of the broken, the beaten and the damned?” goes into an infinite loop. I wonder what the parameters of generating one are?

    It also managed to turn “not if I can help it, you know it’s unconstitutional to take away my god-given pharmaceuticals” into “And unconstitutional, and I know God is a drug”

    “God is a drug” is my new favorite phrase of the day.

  154. Darren Garrison says:

    Palin makes more sense!:

  155. Anonymous says:

    I asked the gentleman who created this if he was planning on making one that translated from Japanese to English and he just laughed and said that this one was going to be it.

  156. Shay Guy says:

    The phrase “Millennium hand and shrimp” BEGINS in equilibrium.

  157. misshallelujah says:


    “Soon or late the day is coming, tyrant Man shall be overthrown, and the fruitful fields of England shall be trod by beasts alone”


    “In Britain, sooner or later, compensation for the human animal, the next field, this conference is the devil”

  158. miratime says:

    Oh, man. From Fight Club:

    “I felt like putting a bullet between the eyes of every panda that wouldn’t screw to save its species.”


    “To screw me, is to save the panda species, I felt like a shot in the first place.”

    Movie quotes are -fun-.

  159. jyindc says:

    Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. –>

    The score of 47-1 to China, free and fair, we were created under the guidance of our ancestors.


  160. Anonymous says:

    And God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

    God is a small light, “” like me.

  161. Satan Ate My Ears says:

    I decided to quote Louis C.K.

    hey, buddy! suck a bag of dicks!


    Hey, buddy! DIKKUSUBAGGU smoke!

  162. caitifty says:

    Infinite loop:

    I don’t like what I see here

  163. Addicted says:

    “There are now about as many different varieties of letters as there are different kinds of fools.”


    “Whatever the nature of my aunt.”

  164. Anonymous says:

    to be, or not to be, that is the question.
    Whether this problem.

    That’s not very impressive, what about this…

    If we shadowes haue offended, Thinke but this (and all is mended) That you haue but slumbred heere, While these Visions did appeare. And this weake and idle theame, No more yeelding but a dreame, Gentles, doe not reprehend. If you pardon, we will mend. And as I am an honest Pucke, If we haue vnearned lucke, Now to scape the Serpents tongue, We will make amends ere long: Else the Pucke a lyar call. So good night vnto you all. Giue me your hands, if we be friends, And Robin shall restore amends.


    Equilibrium reached

    May haue appeare stomach shadowes vision, these Thinke (repair and all haue), slumbred heere,. Theame this weake and idle women scold, dreame, Gentles, Yeelding. If repair is possible. The next morning, Luque Pucke compensation Ming Ming: Pucke lyar, and tongue of the snake, the other is known as vnearned haue flowers. So good night vnto all. Robin Giue If you need to pay to restore a friend of mine.

    That’s Better

  165. Anonymous says:

    “I scream you scream we all scream for ice cream” is weird. It gets worse, and then magically somehow regains meaning. I’m freaked out.

  166. Anonymous says:

    There isn’t a point in trying to make sense of everything in life


    This is a point to understand this life

  167. nehpetsE says:

    “where is my life?”

    instantly becomes and forever remains

    “My life is here?”

  168. Anonymous says:

    I think the best one yet is “one in the hand is worth two in the bush”

  169. Rick. says:

    Nobody puts Baby in a corner.

    I have a corner of the baby.

  170. SkullHyphy says:

    The internet is for porn.
    This is porn.

    And now for a bunch of Bushisms:

    They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.
    They are our country, and to stop the damage to us, please consider a new way.

    I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.
    I can be expected to breach the levees.

    If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.
    My life, I’m the dictator, the dictator of North Korea.

    Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream.
    Our country, family, and we detected the wings of a dream.

    I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we’re really talking about peace.
    War is peace.

    Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere!
    Anywhere, they have weapons of mass destruction!

    I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.
    I am for peace, love can stay in the fish.

    I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.
    I can eat in your family is difficult.

    fool me once shame on shame on you Fool me you can’t get fooled again
    Unfortunately, the old, dust behind the justice stupid fool

  171. Xeno says:

    Looped on my third try with :

    “I juggle cabbages with a vigorous zeal when I’m not playing piano for a living.”

  172. zandar says:

    Snap, I think I broke it with a Burt Ward quote.

  173. Anonymous says:

    Interesting. “Don’t tase me, bro!” instantly reaches equilibrium as “Please do not taze my friend!” Google must hand-translate popular phrases…

  174. Slowermo says:

    “one in the hand is worth two in the bush” turns into

    “President Bush has lowered the value of a single”. So true!

  175. JKG says:

    “a bird in hand is equal to two in the bush” creates some former-president hilarity

  176. Friction says:

    “Those cats were fast as lightning”

    also yields and infinite loop.

  177. teaandcocoa says:

    I started with some generic classics, of which my favourite was:

    Home is where the heart is
    Hardware store

    Do I detect a gender bias here? :)

    Then I tried “Mind over matter”… but strangeness abounds when punctuation is added:

    Mind over matter
    This is the heart

    Mind over matter.
    Mental problem.

    Mind over matter?

    It just gets more existentialist by the minute :)

  178. nehpetsE says:

    “i feel ambivalent about computer based translation systems.”


    “Our translation system is a computer-based ambivalent.”

  179. AsteriskCGY says:

    Wow, weird that I heard of this site off a jp game channel on irc like a month ago.

  180. Anonymous says:

    “Go ahead, quote anything on this page”

    I’m sure I’ve had this conversation before.

  181. Anonymous says:

    this has cured me of my insomnia. or at least its boredom. thanks

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