Friday, January 20, 2006

WINNER: Babelfuck Mistranslation Contest (#1)

Holy crap, we already have a winner for the first Babelfuck Mistranslation Contest. Mary O., PhD, from Philadelphia correctly guessed the following,

1. Sounds of Silence, Simon and Garfunkel
2. Like a Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan
3. Keep on Loving You, REO Speedwagon
4. It Takes Two, Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock
5. We're an American Band, Grand Funk Railroad

I practically had a stroke when y'all nailed Grand Funk Railroad. I thought no one would get that. Seriously, you people should be embarrassed that you know that one.

Mary O. comments,

"I used to grade hundreds of English papers written by international students. What were the languages? I would have sworn there was some Chinese student writing these."

No doubt, Mary O. Reading some of those lyrics gave me flashbacks to my freshman year calculus recitations. All of the translations, by the way, were English > Spanish > English.

I completely underestimated my readership (which, in most cases, serves me well). Ok, next time this is going to be much harder.

Oh, and congrats to Mary O.

The Entropy of Online Translation

AltaVista's Babel Fish Translation tool can certainly be handy in a pinch. Not surprisingly though, as many are aware, the system is irreversible. That is to say, you can't translate from, say, English to German and then back to English expecting a pristine backward translation. And as it turns out, not only is it not perfect, but the results can be really fucked up and downright high-larious.

So, I thought we'd have a little contest on this lovely Friday. Really simple - I will take a few verses of a song, rock a little Babel Fish double translation, and you folks guess the tune and artist in the comments section. First one to get all five wins a $20 Barnes and Noble gift card. So rouse yourself from that hangover, pop a few Advil, and get crackin'.

Here are five songs, going from easy to hard. I'll stick with 60s, 70s, and 80s for this one.

Song #1

"Hello the dark, my old friend. I have come to speak again with you."

Song #2

"Once on a time you dressed so very well. You sent the vague ones to the currency of ten cents in your premium, not you?"

Song #3

"And I am going to keep in loving to him. Because it is the only thing I wish to do. Desire not to sleep. Hardly desire to keep in loving to him."

Song #4

"Desire to oscillate now. I am base of the robbery and I came to obtain down. Internationally they do not know me, but that knows me to oscillate the microphone."

Song #5

"We are one sells American. We are one sells American. We are coming to its city. We will help party him that swallows. We are one sells American."

If you think you have all five, and would like to qualify for the gift certificate, you must include your email address with your guesses. If that freaks you out, go get a fake address from Hotmail or Yahoo.

Aight kids, the comments section is all yours.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Fuck This

Ok, the idea of trying to guess the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest winner on a weekly basis is becoming less and less attractive. I just read the entries for contest #34 and, sweet Jesus, I feel like running into traffic. Sorry folks, I just can't do it.

[Earlier - Muk Report: Results for Caption Contest #32]
[Earlier - Muk Report: Guess the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest]

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

RESULTS: Guess the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest Winner (#31)

Man, this is not a good start. In my first attempt to guess what New Yorker readers would vote in the Cartoon Caption Contest, I came up way short.

Here were the guesses,

Muk: #2
Random number generator: #3

And here are the current standings,

Muk: 0/1
Random number generator: 0/1

I can't believe that piece-of-shit Minotaur line took the prize. Well, at least I'm not losing to the random number algorithm (yet).

Ok, we're going to do cartoon #33 next because I fucked up and missed #32. Coming shortly.

[New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest]

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Excuses, excuses...

Very busy week. I have more to post, but little time to do so. Check back soon. Love ya.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Pennsylvania's First Gay Middle School

[Poor quality photo by Muk. Drexel Hill Middle School. Drexel Hill, PA.]

First, Intelligent Design is struck down, and now this. Pat Robertson and God are probably on the horn right now deciding the fate of the Keystone State.

Oh, the other side of the sign said something like "Wiener Idol," but it was pouring rain and I was getting soaked. Yes, I'll bring an umbrella next time.

[Previously: Pat Robertson Hates on Evolution]
[Harvey Milk High School]