Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Personal Announcements...

as translated by Babelfish.

Nearly every cubicle farm resident who has access to the internet (and a greyish supervisor who doesn't care what you do as long as he doesn't have to deal with it.), has played the Babelfish game of translating innocuous phrases back and forth from English to some other language and back again. For instance, let us take the lyrics to the Pussycat Dolls immortal song "Buttons*":

I'm tellin' you to loosen up my buttons babe (Uh huh)
But you keep frontin' (Uh)
Sayin' what you gon' do to me (Uh huh)
But I aint see nothin' (Uh)

(Indeed, one for the ages)

Japanese back into English:

As for me what which is made I who have gone in order for my button to become loose lovely on the person, uh-huh you continue to face the proverb of Uh, Uh,
but, what I aint as for, Uh-huh means that you do not see


German back into English:

I explain to you that around itself my groping baby to solve up, for
Uh huh however you hold to confront, Uh Saying which you going me to
do, Uh huh, but I aint nothing, Uh-huh to see

The gobbeldygook that comes back is the result of word for word translation. Babelfish (or any other online translation program) doesn't take meaning or idioms into account, it just looks at the individual words and makes its best guess. It's especially great if there is no correlating word between the two, as you can see, "ain't".

After, playing this game for a while, an overall cultural tone emerges or, at least, what the tone is to Babelfish. When I type stuff to be translated into Japanese, what comes back almost always has words like "splendid", "glorious", or "proverb". In German, I get "explain" or "solve". (Though, "groping" gave me if to insinuate that this stereotypically regimented and precise people are latent sex fiends.)

Russian comes across as almost Chekovian:

I speak you so that it would let go upward in my opinion babe buttons,
huh Uh but you hold it resisted, statement you going you delay to
me, huh Uh Uh but aint I not
Suddenly, everything is filled with cold longing for the spirit to break free its Earthly bonds of work and loneliness: "I speak you that it would let go upward".

(I, of course, wonder if this isn't my own twee ignorance of other cultures showing Russia is populated with poor little Uncle Vanyas who just can't seem to get their shit together.)

So, to keep everyone abreast of the artistic goings on in my life, I thought I'd make the announcement more interesting by taking the exuberant mass email, sending it over to Siberia for a little gloom, and posting it here (For the original English, check the comments):

Hi each!

It is distressed for email mass, but me ask 4 to delay it is
followed, and this wakes the lightest road it obtained word from.

it is the project of neytrina
(the instant kinoiy)

Reveals tonight! on ComedySportz
Nights of the environment of runs on 8pm 17 - GO September - 19 - GO
tickets during November $10


it closes this spending the night Friday!

This Friday on 10pm
Ha Playground
(they sold from the last weekend; therefore you will receive there predydushche.)

Interruption Chicago Is spoken:

"you will recall that advertisement ' 90s where little-one it runs downward from the enumeration beverages in his refrigerator: We do obtain the certain oj, purple substance, sunny enjoyment "? Recalls Kerpatty confident spot, also, as countless other souvenirs from our collective it flapped -.kul6tury after; its transmission Grafitti it is investigated those treasures in the silliest. Shake ' boogie robots em of nose em ', then fight; The songs of girl of spice obtain a cappella the processing, man desperately searches for a certain "purple substance." Thus far gen-X- X and - Yers is obtained giddy with nostalgia, rest can it enraptured on comedy Dwyer's pat unflappable of physical. By its impression of squirrel there wake real operation, minus rabies."

Hope you can it made it!

* I want to make clear that "Buttons" appears nowhere on my iPod.


-j-j- said...

Hi everybody!

Sorry for the mass email, but some of you have been asking what I'm doing lately, and this is the easiest way to get the word out.

There are two things going on this week that I am a proud part of:

The Neutrino Project (I perform in this one)
(The Instant Movie)

Opens tonight!
at ComedySportz, 929 W. Belmont
Runs Wednesday nights at 8pm
September 17 - November 19
Tickets are $10

Here is a teaser video, if you'd like to see:


KERPATTY! (I direct this one)
Closes this Friday night!

At the Playground, 3209 N. Halsted
This Friday at 10pm (They sold out last weekend, so get there early.)
Tickets are $10

TimeOut Chicago Says:

"Remember that ’90s commercial where the kid runs down the list of beverages in his refrigerator: “We’ve got some OJ, purple stuff, Sunny Delight”? Kerpatty sure recalls that spot, as well as countless other souvenirs from our collective pop-culture past; its Grafitti takeover explores those treasures in the silliest ways possible. Rock ’Em Sock ’Em robots boogie, then fight; Spice Girls songs get a cappella treatment; a man desperately seeks some “purple stuff.” While the Gen-X and -Yers get giddy with nostalgia, the rest can marvel at Pat Dwyer’s unflappable physical comedy. His squirrel impression is the real deal, minus the rabies."

Hope you can make it!

Jan Smelk said...

1.) Huh?

2.) I despise the Pussycat Dolls for several reasons:
a. I did their make-up once and
that Robin Antin/ director
bitch told someone to tell
me to do something when I
was standing within

b. They kicked out all the
original members.
c. They shot a video at Andrew's
studio and gave him a
personalized autographed
photo, which is currently the
only thing hanging in his
office. EW.
d. Formatting this was hard.

Jan Smelk said...


-j-j- said...

Oh,'s your nails, you silly goose.

Jan Smelk said...


Tina said...

I think your Russian translation event announcement sounds like e.e. cummings poetry.

I know I am a little behind on the comments.

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