Zone38 Presents...
Letters to the World

31-May-2003

A light-light-light-light-hearted tale of mistranslation

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 12:36 am

Heh. Discovered via an old Slashdot thread, and still not fixed by the Systran folks:

Try translating “Yoda had a light-saber fight in Episode Two” into French and back repeatedly via Babelfish.

Yoda had a light-saber fight in Episode Two.
Yoda a eu un combat de lumière-light-saber dans l’épisode deux.
Yoda had a combat of light-light-saber in the episode two.
Yoda a eu un combat de lumière-lumière-light-light-saber dans l’épisode deux.
Yoda had a combat of light-light-light-light-saber in the episode two.
Yoda a eu un combat de lumière-lumière-lumière-lumière-light-light-light-light-saber dans l’épisode deux.
Yoda had a combat of light-light-light-light-light-light-light-light-saber in the episode two.

Interestingly, this bug doesn’t occur if you spell it “light-sabre”. Go figure.

Also, reminiscent of the multilingual “rink” bug I mentioned a while back on my blog, if we stick only to translating from English to French and vice versa:

rink
patinoire
skating rink
patinoire de patinage
skating rink of ice-skating
patinoire de patinage du glace-patinage
skating rink of ice-skating of ice-ice-skating
patinoire de patinage du glace-patinage du glace-glace-patinage
skating rink of ice-skating of the ice-ice-skating of ice-ice-ice-skating
patinoire de patinage du glace-patinage du glace-glace-patinage du glace-glace-glace-patinage
skating rink of ice-skating of the ice-ice-skating of the ice-ice-ice-skating of ice-ice-ice-ice-skating

Having fun yet?

30-May-2003

Spellbound in Georgia

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 4:46 pm

Ooh. As if yesterday’s spelling bee news wasn’t enough, it turns out that Spellbound is now showing in Atlanta. I’m even considering going to see it this weekend…

29-May-2003

Jamaica me crazy

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 11:56 pm

Apparently different news reporters have very different attitudes toward Jamaica’s spellers.

In its article on the National Spelling Bee, the New York Times claims that “Trudy C. McLeary [was] a polite 14-year-old from Kingston, Jamaica, whose lilting accent and prim manner charmed the tense audience.”

On the other hand, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution demonstrates a markedly different attitude toward Trudy: “The audience, mostly parents of spellers no longer in the hunt, grew irritated with Trudy McLeary of Jamaica, who asked the announcer repeatedly if he was sure there were no other pronunciations or definitions for her word.”

Hmm… I’ll leave the analysis of those two quotes up to you, the readers. ::grin::

The sweet spell of success

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 5:43 pm

Congratulations to Sai Gunturi, winner of the 76th Annual National Spelling Bee! Faced with such tough words, your attitude was nonetheless quite pococurante.

Congrats are also due for Evelyn Blacklock, who surprised everyone by making it all the way to second place; JJ Goldstein, spelling family protégé who tied for third place; and Samir Patel, the extremely gifted third-grader with whom Goldstein tied.

Who’d have thought it would go on this long? This is allegedly the longest National Spelling Bee ever… but despite the insane length, it was as fun to watch as it always is for this ex-bee geek.

26-May-2003

When Bad Speeling Attacks

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 12:12 am

In an IM with fellow National Spelling Bee alum Toni:

codeman38: <geeting all nostalgic about the NSB…>
codeman38: <getting, even.>
codeman38: <the irony.>
mimeinashoebox: hehe ;D

Oh, and I should add: Good luck to all of the 251 spellers who will be participating in the Bee later this week. I’ve been there; I know what it’s like… admittedly, the Bee itself can be quite stressful, but the week as a whole is nonetheless quite enjoyable. Hey, it’s one of those sorts of events where I actually feel like I fit in; what more can I say?

25-May-2003

Fun with domain names

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 10:53 pm

Hee. While browsing the lists of recently registered domains at Deleted Domains for amusement (yes, I’m a total geek), I happened to stumble across a registration that I found rather amusing: http://www.wwwdothttpdotdotcom.com/. Try reading that URL out loud; it’s bound to confuse people…

20-May-2003

More weird search requests

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 10:39 pm

From the Search Request Files…

  • proofreading excercise – Definitely needed for this person.
  • litary agents – I’ve had this one before, but it’s still amusing no matter how many times I see it.
  • buckaroo bonzi – That little purple gorilla’s advertisers may be a bit reckless, to be sure, but the sci-fi movie is titled Buckaroo Banzai.
  • airport hartsfield pronounced – OK, granted, maybe this person’s not a native speaker, but still…
  • "graduates have never" – Oh-kay
  • "i hate arial" – Well, I don’t hate it, but Helvetica does look a lot better than Microsoft’s infamous rip-off of it…

Growth via bad HTML

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 7:21 pm

Heh. Someone just spammed me with a message that was meant to be sent as HTML. Only one problem: they somehow managed to send it with a header of text/plain instead, thus causing Mozilla to display all the HTML tags.

It appears to be selling Human Growth Hormone, but I can’t read it for all the invalid HTML tags the spammer put in there to throw spam filters off; the obfuscation in this message is unbelievable. (And Mozilla still marked it as spam regardless…so much for that approach.)

Here’s exactly what I saw, sans URLs:
(more…)

18-May-2003

Move Your Pixelated Feet

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 7:16 pm

Yet another interesting music video: “Move Your Feet” by Junior Senior. Pretty amazing stuff, given that it’s constrained to a resolution of 90 by 72 pixels!

Left, right, left…

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 5:53 pm

Via Google, here’s yet another article offering solace for the directionally challenged.

(Honestly, I ought to write such an article myself… if only I could curb my procrastination. But that’s another rant entirely.)

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