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Translation and back again

A great time waster is the back and forth translation game afforded to us by the Babel Fish Translator (named after a creature from Douglas Adams' novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy). If you paste in up to 150 words it will do its best to translate them into a number of other languages.  It's not perfect, but it often helps you make some sense of, for example, foreign language web pages.

Babel%20fishFor fun, though, you can establish a translation chain.  For example, here is the description of The Oldie that lives on the front of our main website:

We are a monthly magazine founded in 1992 by Richard Ingrams, who for 23 years was the editor of Private Eye. The Oldie is an eclectic mix of humour, cartoons, reviews, interviews and eccentricity.

Fair enough - and now here it is after Babel Fish translated it into Italian, from that to French, from French to German and then back to English:

We are one in the year 1992 justified monthly department of Richard Ingrams, which was for 23 years the reserved author of lorgne. Oldie is it a eklektische mixture of the mood, drawn volumes, revisions, interviews and the eccentricity.

I think that's a pretty good effort, for a machine.  I also quite like the idea that we are a "department of Richard Ingrams".  I wonder which floor we are on.

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