Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Junior Polyglots and Fun with Babel Fish.

We live in the German speaking part of Switzerland. Prima's school has come up with a mad scheme to truck a bus load of kids over from France for a week and deposit one in our house. We'll call him... ok, lets call him Randy. He seems like a nice kid. Prima wrote to him (in French) to ask him what he wants to do when he's here. He wrote back in German. Any senior polyglots out there?

"Das Schokoladenwerk werde wirklich sein, weil wir dorthin mit der Klasse nicht gehen. Sonst für dich, werde du gern haben, nach Paris zu gehen, wenn du dort noch, nicht zu gehen. Wenn du noch nicht kennst, ist das nicht ernst, wir werden sehen, wenn du kommen wirst. Auf Wiedersehen und in in ein in den Wochen."

So. This doesn't entirely make sense. We decided to run it through Babel Fish and make it French again to see if it made more sense:

"Le travail de chocolat sera vrai, parce que nous n'allons pas là avec la classe. D'ailleurs, pour te, tu auras volontiers aller à Paris, si tu là encore ne pas aller pas. Si tu ne connais pas encore, ce n'est pas sérieux, nous devient voit, si tu viendras. Sur revoir et dans les semaines."

Prima claims it makes more sense this way, but I don't understand a word of French, so we ran it through again:

"The chocolate work will be true, because us n' let us not go there with the class. D' elsewhere, for you, you will have readily to go to Paris, if you still not to go there not. If you do not know yet, this n' is not serious, becomes us sees, if you will come. On re-examining and in the weeks. "

This is going to be an interesting week. Reckon Randy talks as good as he writes?


Whirlochre said...

I just hope the message that got through to you about the "kids" actually refers to kids.

The camel laundering trade knows no bounds.*

* That's the kangaroo laundering trade.

Mother (Re)produces. said...

As opposed to baby goats, you mean?

sylvia said...


I speak German, not French, and that's a mess but adorable. He really did give it his best shot!

I can't wait to hear how the week went.

My son Connor went to France for a week staying with a family with a son his age as a language learning exercise. Turned out the Father spoke fluent Spanish (Connor's bilingual) and was so thrilled to be able to speak it that Connor heard almost no French the entire trip.

Mother (Re)produces. said...

Yes! I understand that most French kids speak much better English than German- he may wind up improving his English!

Should be interesting; he's a full year younger than Prima and she slammed past puberty with hips and curves; he looks like a little kid in the photograph. I have a sneaking suspicion he will have much more in common with Middlekid.

pacatrue said...

And he might have a crush on Prima.

Babelfish's inabilities are a constant source of delight.

Robin S. said...

This is a hoot! Let us know how it goes, please.