Developing an idea of Google-translated fiction I was thinking of how to find another, deeper meaning of tech-absurd being brought to people’s lives by automatic translation tools. And as I currently run a Twitter absurdist project, it came to my mind, that I should do what I had originally intended – to have a Google-translated life delivered constantly by Twitter updates.
That’s why I started another Twitter profile (sorry Twitterers). The idea is simple as that: I write a tweet in Polish, translate it using Google Translate and send it to Twitterland. The big challenge is to self-experience a touch of tech-absurd in everything I do – or, to be more precise – everything I want to share with other people. I’m pulling my life through a translating script – and this is the whole artistic idea behind “I, Google-translated”.
Already, having more than 70 Google-translated tweets, I can say, that Mr GT, as I call him, can bring something I was not expecting. It can bring a fresh breeze of simplicity to life. When you’re sometimes lost with your feelings and thoughts and when you want to share it with Mr GT, you discover that this can happen the-one-and-only way – unless you change the original text. This is good. People tend to complicate things. Mr Google script tends to simplify, I like it.
Another learning is addressing a famous stupidity of Google-translated texts (or auto-translated texts in general). In my case those sometimes really grotesque and ridiculous translations are a description of the current-me in my current life. And similar to other people laughing at Google translations, I’m laughing as well – and things get a bit brighter, especially for a Dumas-Sartre-sculptured personality like me. It’s like you realize, that Mr GT can disarm a bomb you made yourself for no reason. So far – I like it very much.
And a final observation: how much is lost in communication between me and Mr Google Translate. Here is a risky part, please comment on that: I can say, that the level of information, which is lost in communication between a human and a Google script is comparable to the level of human-to-human communication. I’m not a researcher, I’m a writer. I write what I feel – and I feel that the translations can roughly deliver what I mean. Same as a person, who is not listening. And this is my discovery: Google Translate is designed to do, what people tend to avoid – to listen and understand.
There are all the conclusions for now. Below here is a list of some rules I stick to, when running this project:
• I’m not following anybody on Twitter from this account. That means, that everybody, who is following “I, Google-translated” is 100% interested in this idea and all its absurdity,
• I’m not making any correction to translated tweets, no matter how they sound,
• If I want to have a better translation, I have to rephrase and make another tweet out of it.
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