Lost in Translation, or more appropriately, Lost in Bing Translator

August 25, 2013
A lot of my friends on facebook are from places where I cannot speak the local language, but they are kind enough (and brave enough) to speak with me in English when we are together. Their English skills vary from person to person, naturally, but the one common factor is that their English is much better than my Japanese, or Thai, or Khmer, or whatever. When they post on facebook, sometimes they post in English, but more often in their native language(s), so if I want to find out what is new with them, I have to use the translator provided by Bing. The results can be pretty amusing (I will not embarrass anyone by putting their names in here, but I promise you that these are word-for-word transcriptions of recent posts, as translated by Bing).

Here is one from a Thai friend, who shared this three-word message: “Matamha true love.” It must have resonated strongly with her friends, because it has …generated fifteen “likes” (so far) and several comments, my favorite of which read: “Remove the armpit to the government before” (I could not possibly make this stuff up…).

Another rather cryptic one read: “For more information, see how to get out of the hospital to look after the House is barely 2 percent Union!!!! This life, Mechanic tired: ching:(“. This post  generated a number of responses along the lines of: “Released by ka Several 3933 round sizes” and “Horns—5 episodes today issued the kalang WOR am horns.” I am totally clueless as to what transpired there…

Another Thai friend posted this one, which started out fairly intelligibly, but began to crumble toward the end: “She is still with me next. She would have me. She got me, we will be together no matter how long the time pass, regardless of the suffering will be happy to help each other overcome. To find a time that’s not very much embraced the neck aside, there will be no one left who has A Boonwara Ja Wanlapa > > Apichai”. This elicited several heartfelt responses, my favorite of which read: “Drama Momma decorate profoundly Beijing Lasting one!” The response came from my friend’s friend, who is not someone I know, but I know I would like her too, because how could you not like someone who starts a comment with “Drama Momma”?!!!

Here is a final one, that seems to make so much sense at the outset, and once again seems to lose the thread toward the end, at least in its English translation: “See, we closed the doors at home think that people not Hey who needs an excuse, then don’t think Hey who needs an excuse that homeowners will come back. To have come across the parking lot in front of his house. Tired of being real. Ideas thinking testers!” That one elicited a response that I found myself profoundly disinclined to agree with: “It is plain.”