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Deutsche Fassung

Although the 'language games' played here can hardly live up to Wittgensteinian standards (and are an entirely different thing), I'm fond of collecting little linguistic oddities, which might be of interest to English and German language players:

Automated translations

Translations from one language into another usually are hard and laborious work. The assistance of "clever" software programs sometimes yields quite funny and surprising results.

Under the title of "autopoetry" (which is meant to allude to—but mustn't be confused with—"autopoesis", the process of spontaneous and holistic self-organization of living systems) I collected some examples, which illustrate the limits and often amusing dynamics of automated translation. Occasionally, the result might even approach new insights or "wisdom":

World wide trade of words

You need to be quite proficient in German to appreciate the subtleties of the following Ebay announcement for an auction of "fette Brenner":

  • Benötigen Sie eine NEUE Weise, Gewicht, das wirklich zu verlieren Arbeiten?
  • Wird Ihr Tag so mit realem Leben verpackt, daß Sie nicht Zeit für spezielle Mahlzeiten und kostspielige Gymnastikmitgliedschaft haben?
  • Sind Sie zum Tod von hype, Kniffe krank und leeren Versprechungen?


  • German proverbs | English proverbs
  • ...

Related resources

  • German dialects, accents and decents:

    The UNiMUT Schwobifying Proxy Schwobifying Proxy >> allows translations from German into the swabian dialect of my home town. And as I cannot defy my roots, here's a version of in Swabian. A brief introduction into the Swabian dialect and dictionary 'Swabian > English' can be found here Swabian > English >>.

    Due to the services of the Babbelfisch ('blubberfish') Babbelfisch >> we can now enjoy these pages in Hessian >>. Single words and sentences are translatable by Steffen Jakob's "Ei gudde wie!" Ei gudde wie!... >>.

  • English twists and turn-offs:

    If you'd like to read the New York Times with a Boston accent, or translate your research reports into Canadian, the Crapola Web Translator >> is for you. It also features some even more alien vernaculars...

    If you ever have wondered how a web page might look like if its creator was suffering from Tourette Syndrome >>, the Pornolizer >> might give you an idea. [Parental digression notice: While use of this device might enrich your linguistic competence it should not affect performance.]

Language courses: 'English is a foreign länguage'

Recommended links

the ONION, 2001]

Note: I'm always grateful for feedback and new ideas. Please contact me if you are capable of writing a script that allows to automatically retranslate a translated page (via Babelfish or any other online service).


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