See #15 for my judgement

I gave you all an extra few days, but you still failed.

NRG got 1.5 and neither was the obvious Kinks example, so he wins a Babylon Zoo album. Email details and I’ll post it. Meanwhile, Anton gets the cash alternative to two Babylon Zoo albums, which is being hit round the head with a stick and having all his cash stolen. Email details and I’ll arrange.

And for his interesting explanation of quirks in how the translator works, Edmund wins nothing.

Those answers you’ve been waiting for:

1) “Do you love to love you?” is “Ever fallen in love with someone you shouldn’t have fallen in love with?” – The Buzzcocks, Ever Fallen In Love?

2) “At the foot of the toy, he is like a mixture of stuttering children” is “No need to whine boy, like a wind-up toy you stutter at my feet” – Elastica, Stutter

3) “World, died at the western end of the city” is “In a West End town a dead-end world” – Pet Shop Boys, West End Girls

4) “I turn off the hazard lamps” is “With the lights out, this is dangerous” – Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit

5) “Also, all girls, to take gold” is “Get your money for nothing and your chicks for free” – Dire Straits, Money For Nothing

6) “If the nitric acid, he knows the hearts of animals” is “Like his Dad you know that he’s had animal nitrate in mind” – Suede, Animal Nitrate

7) “Above, some other girl” is “Some girls are bigger than others” – The Smiths, Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others

8) “In this case, if you have difficulty walking” is “Walking back to you is the hardest thing that I could do” – Jesus And Mary Chain, Just Like Honey

9) “Honey, get a lock to lock, it will take time” – “Get your rocks off, get your rocks off honey” – Primal Scream, Rocks [*]

10) “We need to maintain the greenery of the village community” is “We are the Village Green Preservation Society” – The Kinks, Village Green Preservation Society

11) “I love his shows” is “When I say I love you, you say ‘you better” – The Who, You Better You Bet

12) “Line of credit for the toes” is “They have a way to make you pay And to make you toe the line” – Babyshambles, Fuck Forever

13) “This is a special fashion show is the result of his recent research on her head” is “He’s nothing special, she’s not too smart; he studies fashion, she studies art” – Sleeper, Inbetweener

14) “Courage, hard core, a little fun” is “It take courage to enjoy it, the hardcore and the gentle” – Bjork, Big Time Sensuality

15) “How many people, I can see the sense of shame” is “How can you show your face, when you’re a disgrace to the human race?” – Madness, Embarrassment

[*] this one will appeal to fans of jokes about Asian pronunciations of English. There are reasons why it works to do with foreign-imported words being rendered in phonetic alphabets, which Edmund could probably explain in more detail.

6 thoughts on “See #15 for my judgement

  1. Number 9 is quality.

    It happens because the machine doesn't know whether to translate "rock" as "石" meaning "large stone", or "ロック" – a phonetic transliteration, meaning "rock music". Then, once it's gone for the latter, it doesn't know whether to translate it back as "rock" or as "lock" (which "ロック" can also mean, slightly surprisingly, in contexts such as "ヘッドロック" – "head-lock").

    Or more briefly, it's because Japanese (a) like importing foreign words and Japanesifying them, and (b) can't tell the difference between an "r" and an "l".

  2. Since I only got one answer legitimately and Anton got one first I think he should probably be awarded my prize as well, or the cash alternative of sticking a couple of nails through the stick before he's beaten with it. If you really do have a babylon zoo album you're trying to get rid of, I imagine your local charity shop will be marginally more grateful to receive it than me.

    Does Tim Worstall live in a cave?

  3. What Larry said. In principle, the practice of incorporating loan words by transcribing them phonetically in katakana (the angular script above) should make it easier to learn Japanese. In practice, the transliteration is a bit random. [Particularly the use of long vowel sounds, which are written differently in hiragana and katakana, and seldom bare much resemblance to the original loan word until the similarity is pointed out to you]. For "i am the walrus", it translates "walrus" into katakana (セイウチ) and then back into the latin name for walrus. Interestingly, it responds differently depending on how the sentence is capitalized.

    The r sound (as in ら, り, る, れ, ろ) isn't quite an l sound: it sounds like a sort of cross between r and l. (A textbook describes it as "not trilled. It is a flapped 'r' ".)

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