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Old 02-04-2008, 04:26 PM   #1
zelda_pinwheel
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Paris, France
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in honor of babelfish...

i just saw a babelfish translation from korean to english that made me think of this book, which is so hilarious that you will fall down laughing (really) :

Mark Twain's "The Jumping Frog : In English, then in French, then clawed back into the civilized language once more by patient unremunerated toil", containing the original story (in english), a french translation which was published in la Revue des Deux Mondes and which Twain finds to be a travesty of the original text, and Twain's re-translation of the french back into english, word for word (this is where things degenerate). it is a masterpiece of babelfishien nonsense dating from well before babelfish was even a gleam in the binary code of its creator (1903). best appreciated if you can read both french and english, but even if you skip the french version it's truly brilliant. if you have ever translated random text using babelfish just because it's funny, don't miss this book.

As good old Samuel Clemens himself put it in his foreword "I cannot speak the French language, but I can translate very well, though not fast, I being self-educated."

i don't know whether it's available in digital format ; i checked PG quickly and didn't see it, but it might be in a short story collection. i have a tree-ware edition which was published alone. perhaps if some-one does find it we could add it to the book upload section... i could do the imp format version.
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