Google Translational Poetry – Austrian Christmas Edition

I am at the nadir of my online reputation – my Google page impressions plummeted by a factor of about 100. This is very liberating, and I start enjoying the irony of being considered a notorious link scammer. Now I will harvest Google for any weird purpose whatsoever. For poetry nobody will read.

The title says it all. I am running – already questionable – ‘experimental internet flarf poetry’ through multiple languages in Google Translate, in order to enhance it even more. The set of source poems is the second batch of five poems from the Raffle Mop series, Google-powered poems seeded from Google-powered images.

Here are the languages, used in this order:

  1. English
  2. Zulu
  3. Maori
  4. Haitian
  5. Greek
  6. Vietnamese
  7. Icelandic
  8. Latin
  9. German
  10. Esperanto
  11. English

The original poem is displayed to the left, the resulting poem to the right. I try to unveil the hidden Christmas-y aspect in each of them and illustrate it accordingly. In particular, I hope to find an image on Wikimedia both related to that Christmas-y message and to my home country. Just to add some highly educational content.

~

since the earliest times

Cosmic Patriarchs
Oh, oh, oh,
This is so inspirational !!

Everything
off the most memorable
Congrats for gaining strength!

Follow Along
Web beacons may be used

reply

patriarch
Ho, ho, ho,
Where is wonderful !!

all
unforgettable
Thanks to the power!

follow
You may use web beacons

Well, who would not spot that Ho, ho, ho that Oh, oh, oh has been turned into? As if I ordered this for Christmas! Here you see Santa Claus in front of an Austrian police helicopter. I don’t know what he did wrong.

ORF & BMI Nikolaus ~

I’m still working

MY REALITY
(C)
What a fun & interesting adventure

It was a culture shock
Ut tellus dolor, dapibus eget, elementum vel

getting a hold of me might be a bit difficult
Name is required

This is for me

The Outlook Me
(100)
Fun and adventure that is

It was a shock competition
Go Lands iPhone bikes

I get a little heavy
name required

That fake Latin from the original poem (a snippet of the classical ‘Lorem Ipsum’ filler text on the source website) has turned into Go Lands iPhone bikes. We live in an era of consumerism for sure. The latest iPhone for Christmas!

I searched for an Austrian iPhone or Apple store but all I found were images of the traditional Austrian (or German) Baked Apple. This goes better with Christmas traditions anyway!

Bratapfel 2

~

he won it handily

It was a perfect mix.
repaving the roadway
What’s happening?

find your own voice
You can join the conversation
Have the time of your life.

Join The Flock
use public transit to get to work

taking undeserved criticism for way too long
you’ve tried everything and nothing’s worked

adventurous spirit trickles in to the boardroom
you can improve your mental space.

clever

This is a good mix.
highway
What has happened?

find their own voice
You can turn the discussion
Often in your life.

sheep
Work, public use

Enough time to check
Nothing works tries

Reduction in new cabinet
Duis spiritual space.

This requires more historical, theological, and cultural context – which is out of scope here. But there is spiritual space, and there are sheep (the latter translated from Join the Flock – a hidden encouragement to join a cult?). The logical pick is an image of a Nativity Scene (Christmas Crib). To tell you the truth, I find those creepy – especially if they have plastic sheep. But here is a nicer one – in a nutshell:

Weihnachskrippe~

a wealth of experience

we can keep up our hard work.
TAKE ACTION
flush the solid waste to the ocean.

Display

Work with us our problems.
Get active
How strong the open sea.

This was a real challenge. First, we see again how the values of our ancestors (wealth of experience) have been transformed into shallow show-off (Display). The traditional hands-on and accountability (we can keep up our hard work) turned into a vague statement that sounds like the scrambled version of a management consulting company’s mantra (Work with us our problems). On the other hand, we see horrid environmental pollution (flush the solid waste to the ocean) replaced by responsible use of natural resources and by even assigning human values to resources as the sea (How strong the open sea). So all I would need is an image showing a management consultant who works as a Greenpeace activist in his spare time. This image would need to be taken at some ocean-protection event on the December 25. I think I have to skip the illustration challenge.

This is the best I can do – trying a different cascade of weird mental connections: A skeleton of a prehistoric fish (?), exhibited in Vienna’s museum of natural history. Actually, the fossil had been found in a village very close to where I live. Actually, carp is or has been a traditional Christmas dinner in some regions of Austria, and I would not recognize the difference in skeletons perhaps.

NHM - Scorpaena prior~

he is amazing

paint a thin layer on the background
capture the emotional essence of a person
whimsically poignant

The World Unites!
outspoken 24/7 force of nature
in the truly classic sense

STAY INFORMED
We are not responsible for the content

incredible

A thin layer of paint
exploration
use capricious

Men’s tirade world!
The power of nature and the mouth 24/7
The most common reason

Fermentum no sourdough white
We are not responsible for the content

The last line stands out: We are not responsible for the content. It seems phrases from legal terms are immune to cascaded translation. Maybe the appropriate disclaimer that should be put on pyrotechnic stuff sold before New Year’s Eve.

See an image of Vienna’s maybe most famous cathedral. From  the description of this  image on Wikimedia (which I read after I had already selected the image) the law-abiding citizen learns something:

‘Of course, fireworks within that area of the town (its center, and UNESCO World Heritage!) are disallowed by law. Nevertheless, it would hardly be possible to prevent all those people from igniting consumer pyrotechnics.’

New Year's Eve, Vienna 2009-2010 ZEROMerry Christmas, eveyone! Thanks for listening in.

Thanks, Bing, for indexing so nicely!