lost in translation

I have been off the web for about a week–it started late last week when the Amish hotel where I was staying knocked me off its free Internet service and messed up something deep inside my computer.  Beware of Amish people bearing technological gifts!  For those who may be interested, here is my ode to Calvin published last week in honor of his birthday.  If you’re keeping score, this means that this blog somehow managed to post too early and too late for this auspicious occasion.

A lot of you may already know this, but I just discovered today that Microsoft Word will translate documents as long as you are hooked up to the Internet.  It’s pretty rough, especially going from German to English, but it may give a general sense of a text to at least get you started.  It certainly would have come in handy for my doctoral program.

I did a little more checking and found a free translation website that I like even better at http://translation2.paralink.com.

Here is a French translation that I tried: “La richesse est un instrument dont on use, et non un dieu que l’on vénère” came out as “Wealth is an instrument which they employ, and not a God whom they venerate.”  Not bad.

And here is a German attempt:  “1541 holte man Calvin jedoch zurück nach Genf, nachdem er einen Antwortbrief an den katholischen Bischof geschrieben hatte (siehe unten). In diesem zeigte sich Calvin aufs tiefste mit Genf verbunden” came out as “In 1541 one got Calvin, nevertheless, back to Geneva, after he had written a letter in reply to the Catholic bishop (see below). In this Calvin on deepest with Geneva was linked.”  This would be really bad except for the fact that Germans really do talk this way.

Theological research just got a little bit easier.

2 Comments

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  1. I’m convinced German grammar is what inspired George Lucas when he was creating Yoda.

  2. Jonathan Shelley July 16, 2009 — 3:20 pm

    Warum studierte ich Deutsch, wenn ich das online tun konnte?

    I’m still looking for a decent Latin translater, other than Dr. Bennett.

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