Translation Telephone – machine translation Chinese whispers


Here’s a fun site – enter a message in English, and it’ll translate it through 15 different languages and then back into English. Machine translation – as much as it has improved in the past 10 or so years – is very rarely perfect, especially with language pairs that are very different (such as English and Chinese). As a result, it often mangles the original phrase into something that’s barely recognizable – much like the old party game also known as “Telephone” or “Chinese Whispers”.

It works particularly well with song lyrics – the chorus to Rebecca Black’s famously abysmal YouTube anti-hit “Friday” changes from “It’s Friday, Friday, Got to get down on Friday” to “Friday, Saturday and Friday, he was able”.

Try it for yourself at