Babel Fish and the diplomatic incident

Babel Fish and the diplomatic incident

Amazing, the internet. You can feed a phrase in one of the major world languages into a translation site like Babel Fish (babelfish.yahoo.com), and out it will come another. Type, for example, “internet translation sites like Babel Fish are more trouble than they’re worth”, click the “English-to-French” button, and you get “les emplacements de traduction d’internet comme des poissons de Babel sont plus d’ennui que la valeur de they’re”. Put back into English, that yields “the sites of d’internet translation as of fish of Babel are more d’ennui that the value of they’re”, which, you will agree, is about as close to the original as to make no meaningful difference.

So when indignant officials at the Dutch foreign ministry received an email from a group of Israeli journalists that began, “Helloh bud, enclosed five of the questions in honor of the foreign minister: The mother your visit in Israel is a sleep to the favor or to the bed your mind on the conflict are Israeli Palestinian,” they might perhaps have guessed what had happened.

Read more> The Guardian

Katia Reed
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