‘Declaration of Farters’ and Other Google Translate Eventing Fails

I was recently introduced to the Google Translate App at Pau, when competitor (and sole USA finisher!) Katie Ruppel sent me this hilarious screenshot of her translated/mistranslated dinner menu:

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“I’ll have the neck of tomato with pavement of beef, si vous plait.”

The app, which is exciting yet clearly still in the throw-manure-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks stage, allows users to hover their smartphone camera over text, whereupon it replaces the original text with translated text — or at least its best attempt at translated text — from 90 different languages.

While auto language translation online can be pretty endearing …

Screenshot from the Boekelo Facebook page.

Screenshot from the Boekelo Facebook page.

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Excerpt from the Pau competition schedule.

… Google Translate really takes the cake when it comes to turning perfectly normal sentences into steaming hot piles of hilariously random speech.

Here’s an example from the Boekelo website, which includes explanations of the sport’s three phases.

Dressage:

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“Walk, troll and cancer” … no wonder dressage is everyone’s least favorite phase.

Cross country:

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A bit dramatic.

Show jumping:

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Evil? I dunno. That seems like a stretch.

Or this, from the Pau schedule:

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“Welcome Rag and Bone Man” at the Life Tent Wednesday afternoon, “Declaration of Farters” on Thursday morning … yep, just another horse show.

Sometimes the app gets tripped up and starts flashing multiple translation suggestions, raising more questions than answers. Here are a few possible translations of Luhmühlen’s site plan (see full map here).

So, is #5 (kinderland) an anarchist nursery rhyme, a “child bike,” a children’s oracle or “killers”? Does #13 (stehplatze zuschauer) offer free standing, free stalking, strong tea or crappy personal training sessions? Are they using #15 and #16 (abreiteplalz I and II) as practice rings or parking lots? Is #18 (member club) full of people taking naps?

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Hang in there, Luhmühlen — we know that hamburger application is stressing you out.

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The words “CIC3*” and “sissies” should never be used in a sentence together.

 Anyway, if you’re easily entertained, it’s totally worth the download.

Go …

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[Download Google Translate for iPhone]

[Download Google Translate for Android]

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