Monthly Archives: January 2009

Rocky’s Translator: Say Wah?

OK, a buddy of mine forwarded me a request from another buddy of mine that asked the accuracy of translation of Rocky’s speech in Rocky IV.  Specifically: "How accurate is the translation? Does the translator take any liberties?"

Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KCJNBQBdOY

Well, I decided to help him out and translate the translation.  Hilarity ensued:

Rocky: I came here tonight.  I didn’t know what to expect.

Translator: When I walked out tonight onto this rink

Rocky: I seen a lot of people hatin me and I didn’t know what to feel about that so I guess I didn’t like you much none either.

Translator: I thought that I didn’t love them either.

Rocky: During this fight I’ve seen a lot of changing.

Translator: During this fight, I understood that a lot has changed.

Rocky: the way you felt about me and I felt about you.

Translator: And I felt that you also have changed.

Rocky: in here there were two guys shoving each other but I guess that’s better than 20 million.

Translator: I think this is better than even 20 million dollars.

Rocky: what I am trying to say is if I can change

Translator: I think that every person should change (muffled a bit – not sure)

Rocky: and you can change

Translator: and you can change

Rocky: everybody can change!

Translator: everyone can change!

<cheering>

Rocky: Excuse me!

Translator: I want to say one more thing!

Rocky: I just wanna say one thing to my kid who should be home sleeping.  Merry Christmas Kid!

Translator: Merry Christmas Buddy!

Rocky: I love you!

Translator: I love you! (the way usually only a man says to a woman…  I think a more accurate translation might even be "I am in love with you" given the gravity of the word love in the Russian language.  Never, ever would have I heard anything even close to this uttered between a father and son…  maybe it’s just me?)

Now, if I may, let’s do full translation without interruptions.  What Rocky said:

I came here tonight.  I didn’t know what to expect. seen a lot of people hatin me and I didn’t know what to feel about that so I guess I didn’t like you much none either. During this fight I’ve seen a lot of changing.  Tway you felt about me and I felt about you. In here there were two guys shoving each other but I guess that’s better than 20 million.  What I am trying to say is if I can change and you can change, everybody can change!  <cheering> Excuse me! I just wanna say one thing to my kid who should be home sleeping.  Merry Christmas Kid!  I love you!

How it was translated:

When I walked out tonight onto this rink, I thought that I didn’t love them either.  During this fight, I understood that a lot has changed. And I felt that you also have changed. I think this is better than even 20 million dollars. I think that every person should change and you can change, everyone can change!  <cheering> I want to say one more thing! Merry Christmas Buddy! I am in love with you!

Now I understand why the cold war took as long as it did…

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New Game – Broken Googlephone

Today I discovered a new game.  You take some perfectly innocent phrase and you plug it into Google translate…  I think this could be a fairly popular little service if automated (note to self to make it if Google translate offers an API 😉 ).  Talking to a very close friend, she suggested to plug in "I love you" and "I am in love with you" in there, which could explain why a Chinese girl might be rather baffled if a guy says "I love you, but I am not in love with you." – there is no distinction between the two in Chinese.  Which makes me wonder which of the two concepts above aligns with the Chinese concept…  Also, another idea – an automated way of establishing gaps in concepts that may be present in various cultures.  Assuming that there is some translation, if a concept is missing, you get the closest approximation. So, if two words lead to the same translation, you just found a conceptual gap.

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