Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Translation Party

While I was reading some Yankee kun to Megane chan, my very sexy friend Rachel showed me this online application called Translation Party. It takes an English phrase and translates it into the Japanese equivalence. It then takes that Japanese phrase and finds its literal English meaning. It alternates between the languages until it finds a translation that is literally the same in both English and Japanese.

I will be going to work today
I think it can work
I think I can avoid it
I think I can avoid it

I don't do very well at parties
I'm not very well at the party
My party is very well
I very much party
I have so many parties
I have many parties
I have many parties


I am the killer kitten who eats snake monkey.
I am a kitten killer snake eating a monkey.
I have a monkey eating a kitten killer snakes.
I have the kitten killer snake eating monkeys.
My kitten killer snakes are eating monkeys.
My kitten killer snakes are eating monkeys.

There are some phrases that have no equivalence. Furthermore, many phrases can be turned into the complete opposite of the original sentence (see party example).

Why it Works:

The Japanese language has a different sentence structure than that of the English language. Thus with the verb always going last, literal translations can change the meaning. Furthermore, the subject particle is normally assumed and excluded from the sentence. This can turn a 'I went to a party' to 'Went to party' if the 'I' was excluded since most speakers exclude the subject if it can be assumed to whom it is referring to.

Why not give it a try and share some interesting outcomes with me? This is an awesome way to improve your Japanese skills as well.

Play Translation Party

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