Babel - or Pentecost?
Well, actually, neither. There is an Italian proverb - unfortunately I cannot put my hand on the original - which is roughly translated as "to translate is to betray". And perhaps even more to the point is that most excellent line from Father Brown: "No machine can lie - nor can it tell the truth."
In this case, we may definitely add, "nor can it translate"... though it makes at least some attempt at it!
As I told you yesterday, I am no linguist. So in order to get some hint as to how well the mechanical translations worked, I did the only obvious thing, which will probably make you laugh... I fed the foreign language versions back into the machinery, but with the switch running the other way! so now I get back the English version of the other languages! Hee hee.
This proved to be VERY interesting:
From the French:
The Favourite Of GKC
Frances Blogg was devoted to G K Chesterton. Is thus this blog - and thus you can expect anything "of the pig to the pyrotechny" which "the truth of the only true philosophy illustrates..." [ GKC, The Thing ]
From the Spanish:
Favorite Of GKC
Frances Blogg was dedicated to G. K. Chesterton. He is so this blog - and so you can tell on any thing "of the pig the pyrotechnics" that "illustrates the truth of the only true philosophy..." [ GKC, the Thing ]
From the Italian:
Favorite Of the GKC
Frances Blogg has been dedicated to G. K. Chesterton. Therefore it is this blog - and so as to you can preview qualche.cosa "from pig to the pyrotechnics" that "illustrate the truth of only philosophy to align..." [ GKC, The Thing ]
From the German:
Frances Blogg was inaugurated G. K. Chesterton. Is like that this blog - and thus you can expect everything "from schweinefleisch to pyrotechnics", "illustrate the truth of only applicable philosophy...", [ GKC, the thing ]
Of course this is a very short test, and was kind of unfair because of the meaning running through the quote-marks. But it is instructive, and I may wish to play with it again.
But I must call your attention to the very amazing result of the Italian, which is so good I think I may have to use it elsewhere: the truth of the only philosophy to align... then again, perhaps the computer has been reading Chesterton, for here we find that very same idea:
It is always simple to fall; there are an infinity of angles at which one falls, only one at which one stands. To have fallen into any one of the fads from Gnosticism to Christian Science would indeed have been obvious and tame. But to have avoided them all has been one whirling adventure; and in my vision the heavenly chariot flies thundering through the ages, the dull heresies sprawling and prostrate, the wild truth reeling but erect.
[GKC, Orthodoxy CW1:306]