Monday, February 12, 2018

Lost in translation

While Googling the 1960's popular singer, Joanie Sommers, I came upon this bio. This was obviously translated into English by someone who was not a great translator.   Anyway, I found it quite amusing.  Try reading it out loud.   Note:  This is printed verbatim. 

Joanie Sommers scored her biggest graph achievement with “Johnny Get Angry” in 1962. The solitary, her second single launch, peaked at the quantity seven place and charted for a lot more than 8 weeks. Her first single record, “One Boy,” was lots through the musical Bye Bye Birdie in support of hit quantity 54 in 1960.

She continuing to record through the 10 years, but never really had another champion that increased as on top of the graphs as “Johnny Obtain Furious.”

She later on accomplished a different sort of achievement in advertisements with a number of different jingles that she sang for Pepsi through the ’60s and once again two decades later on. (The title of 1 of her later on albums, STAND OUT, was even produced from among the Pepsi ad promotions.)

Sommers, whose true name is Joan Drost, was created in NY but was raised in California. During her senior high school and university years, she sang in college rings. She was 18 years of age when Warner Bros. authorized her to a agreement in 1959 and combined her with Edd Byrnes using one of his singles. She also got a small part in 77 Sunset Remove, the tv screen series that presented Byrnes in the part of Kookie. Furthermore, she sang on Byrnes’ “I Don’t Drill down You” and “Sizzling Rock and roll,” which made an appearance using one of his albums.

Sommers released an record of her very own, the jazz-oriented Favorably one of the most, and it helped create her existence in easy hearing and adult circles. Supporters and critics frequently cite her 1965 record, Softly the Brazilian Sound, as you of her greatest efforts.

In 1966, the singer agreed upon with Columbia Information. Among her pursuing recordings was a edition of “Alfie,” which both Cher and Dionne Warwick also protected it. While Sommers’ edition didn’t obtain the observe that the various other two do, she acquired the fulfillment of putting in the very best Ten in the simple hearing category.

She also made an appearance in On the other hand, a television particular that starred Rick Nelson. The show’s soundtrack includes two variations of “Make an effort to VIEW IT My Method,” among which really is a duet with Nelson as the various other is normally a Sommers single.

The singer, wedded with three kids, stepped from the limelight as the ’70s contacted. Before retiring, she produced numerous television performances on the displays of Johnny Carson, Dinah Shoreline, Dean Martin, Mike Douglas, Bobby Darin, among others. Sommers began singing and producing appearances again through the ’80s.


LouOCNY said...

They forgot her appearances on the game show, Game of Matches....

Andrew said...

Great stuff. I love this line: "was created in NY but was raised in California." Does that mean she was born in NY, or that's simply where her parents conceived her?

Off topic, but there's a wonderful essay/reminiscence on Martin Crane's character (due to Mahoney's death) at Roger Ebert's website that really impressed me. I've watched the show numerous times for years, and never saw this aspect of it.:

"If Frasier had one underlying theme, it was reinvention. And most of the time, this reinvention was forced upon the characters, instead of being a comfortable choice. Frasier had recently divorced and left Boston to start a new life in his hometown. Suddenly, he found himself having to lodge with his ailing dad. Martin, having lost his wife a few years previously, was still hanging on to his job as a police detective when he stumbled upon an armed robbery that practically crippled him. The show carried this theme further with the other lead characters in later seasons: Niles was stuck in a loveless marriage that nonetheless provided him with material comforts when his love for his dad’s physical therapist, Daphne (Jane Leeves), eventually made him relinquish it all. Daphne, of course, was an immigrant in the United States, having escaped from a violently dysfunctional family. Even Frasier’s producer Roz (Peri Gilpin), a proud bachelorette and the most well-adjusted of the main cast, had to open a new chapter as a single mother following an unplanned pregnancy. Grappling with limitations, regrouping, and then forging something new and good was a central aspect of Frasier. Essentially, then, it was a show about second chances: the ones we make and the ones we are forced to make."

Griff said...

What -- no mention of Joanie's stellar 1963 appearance on "The Jack Benny Agenda," er, "Program"?

Mitchell Hundred said...

A couple of weeks ago I came across an interesting article about menu translations in restaurants. A lot of the process is so idiomatic that it's really difficult to convey the same meaning in a different language.

Mike Barer said...

Joanie Sommers,I learned when I worked at KXA Old Gold 77 in Seattle, signed a lifetime contract with Pepsi to do commercial jingles.

Paul Gottlieb said...

That was magnificent! Pure poetry from beginning to end. Whether you love or beautiful English language, or really hate it, there is something for everyone in that masterpiece! Thanks so much for posting that,

Matt said...

I bet this was a computer translation.

david_l said...

The story goes that someone used a program to translate Lincoln's Gettysburg Address into French, then turned the French into German, then to Italian, and ran it through eight or more other languages before translating it back to English.

The final version had dancing penguins in it.

Jon said...

Thanks for sharing this. This is probably a Babelfish word-for-word translation of the Portuguese version, which I'm sure makes sense in Portuguese, given that language's idioms.

Michael Hagerty said...

Ah, translation software. Reminds me of the e-mail I got about ten years ago for an herbal remedy that was guaranteed to "give you a difficult rooster".

Dr Loser said...

I doubt that a human being translated this. My guess is either that it's a stupid joke, or else a particularly feeble machine learning effort.

Two relevant clues amongst many: getting the song title (presumably) right the first time, and hopelessly wrong the second time, and the substitution of "particular" for "Special."

I don't think a human would get either of those quite so badly wrong.

Rock Golf said...

77 Sunset Remove was one of my favorite 60's shows, along with Lost in Area, Have Gun Testament Travel, Environmental Acres, Voyage to the Buttocks of the Sea and Peyton Position.

blinky said...

Go to for real gems like:

Dream is sweet,
but the real is sour and bitter,
Our life is very like grapefruit,
don't you think?


Little kittens are responsible for
hundreds of people dying daily
because of tenderest emotions.

or a warning label:

For minimal risk only
not suitable for use with medical.
irritant, toxic or corrosive children.

Tom said...

Even if this translation was done by a live person, I tend to think "He/she speaks English way better than I speak their language."

JonCow said...

Years ago, we bought a knock-down bookshelf from Japan, with directions translated from the original Japanese. It was full of broken-English, but at the end of the directions, it said: "Congratulations! You are Success." It's been a catchphrase in our family ever since.

Aaron said...

I actually laughed out loud at "Johnny Obtain Furious"

Unknown said...

The following is brought to you by Pepsi-Cola!
Return yourself and your family members from the dead - with Pepsi!

A while back, I found a fairly new edition of English As She Is Spoke.
In 1855, a Portuguese gentleman named Pedro Carolino sought to write an English language phrasebook for students in his homeland.
Since he knew no English himself, Sr. Carolino obtained a French-to-Portuguese dictionary and a French-to-English dictionary, and proceeded to mix and match, as necessary.

One chapter is called "Idiotisms and Proverbs."
A sampling follows (English only; my Portuguese is nonexistent):

So many heads so much opinions.

What come in to me for an ear yet out for another.

The walls have hearsay.

That come to make water in the mouth.

Cat scalded fear the cold water.

He don't know where give with the head.

Big head, little sens.

Belly famished has no ears.

It is not for you that the oven is heated.

He turns as a weath turcocl.

As I said, just a sampling.

Just thought I'd pass this along.
... although I admit I'd love to sneak a few of these into Mr. Trump's teleprompter some time ...

Currently, it's Pepsi - for reverting to your childhood!

Peter said...

That was hilarious. As others have mentioned, this was definitely the result of automatic online translation. You can get similar results using Google Translate, going from English to another language and then back to English.

Victor Velasco said...

77 Sunset....Remove (snap snap)

Buttermilk Sky said...

I remember the Dinah Shoreline Show! She would sing "View the USA inside your Chevrolet..."

I recently purchased a Swiss product for treating toenail fungus. I am instructed to "apply liberally to the nail and its contour. Insist on folds." I'm not sure what that means, but I am impressed that the author used "its" correctly, which is more than many Anglophones do.

Chris said...

I read this years ago, so I hope my memory is correct. One of the first attempts at computer translation was feeding the program a phrase from English into Chinese and then back again to see if they had achieved any level of accuracy. They entered the advertising slogan "Coke adds life!" and after the back and forth and back got: "Coke brings your ancestors back from the dead."

Dr Loser said...

For cultural learnings to make great edification, I tried to figure out what the theoretical "original English" version was, and then fed it back and forth through two candidate languages using Bing Translator. (I worked for Bing. I recommend using both Bing and Google and then comparing the results, preferably with some slight acquaintance with the target language.) Here are my results:

Joanie Sommers scored her biggest chart achievement with “Johnny Get Angry” in 1962. The single, her second single record, peaked at seventh place and charted for a lot more than 8 weeks. Her first single record, “One Boy,” was promoted by the support of the musical Bye Bye Birdie and was a number 54 hit in 1960.

[English -> Russian -> English]
Joan Summers scored her biggest achievement on the chart with "Johnny Angry" in 1962. The single, her second single, reached number seven and outlined a lot more than 8 weeks. Her first single record, "One Boy", was promoted by the music Bye Bye Birdie and was number 54 hit in 1960.

[English -> Cantonese -> English]
In 1962, Jonsames in the "Johnny Compensations" under the circumstances achieved the greatest results. The only one, his second record, peaked in the seventh place and plotted for more than 8 weeks. Her first single record, "A boy," was driven by the support of the music farewell to the birds, and was beaten 54th in 1960.

Both are very close to reasonable. I'm still dubious that the OP version is anything but a hoax.

VP81955 said...

So Joanie was to Pepsi what Donna Loren was to Dr Pepper. Interesting.

Mike Bloodworth said...

So Ken, you never explained WHY you were Googling Joanie Sommers in the first place.

MikeKPa. said...

Found this interview Joannie did with Skip E. Lowe, who was at his half-listening, interrupting worst. To her credit, she was very gracious and smiled throughoutthe whole ordeal. Martin Short didn't have to do too much to lampoon Skp as Jiminy Glick.

Don said...

As to why Ken was googling Joanie Sommers in the first place- For whatever reason, she's been played a lot recently on the Siriusly Sinatra channel on Sirius XM. I've been wondering who she is as well. Maybe Ken listens to the same station and wondered the same thing.

Or not.

James said...

I'd have guessed a California public high school senior with a 2.3 GPA wrote it--with help from the iPhone word suggest feature on text messaging.

D McEwan said...

On the Criterion DVD of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, they include a scene from the Japanese release of it, with subtitles giving you the exact English translation of that the Japanese dialogue is. Is the famous French Taunter's scene. Here's their translation of it:

Narrator: "No relation, drifting choice: The man made a mistake about the choice of the era he was born in." [I have no concept of what this refers to or is supposed to mean.]

KA: "If you allow me to stay overnight with some food, you may join us in search of holy sake cup."

FT [Who has no French accent]: "We could ask our landlord. but I suppose that would be no good, because we already have one."

SG: "What? They seem to have one already."

KA: "Really? Have you got one?"

FT: "It's true. We have. [To other French knights] I've told a lie." [French knights snigger.]

KA: "I see. Then I'd like you to show it to me."

FT: "Are you joking? We won't show it to English pigs."

KA: "You. Who are you?"

FT: "Frrrrench [The subtitle had all those "r"s.] Look at this elegant face [The elegant face of John Cleese making very silly faces], and you should easily recognize I'm French. What a stuuuuuuuuupid king."

SG: "What are you doing in England?"

FT: "None of your business."

KA: "If you won't show the holy sake cup, we, heavily armed, will break into the castle."

FT: "I'll chop off your heads, English pigs! Before it's too late, you better withdraw, and scavenge for food in the rubbish heap. If you come closer, I will throw my runny nose onto you. [I'd like to see him try that.] Huh! King Arthur! Come the day before yesterday, you great idiot with empty head!

SG: "Crazy man, isn't he?"

"KA: "Hey! Look towards us."

FT: "I don't wanna talk to you any more. Talking with the idiot makes me become an idiot too. I can almost guess how you've grown up, what type of parents you have. I can clearly see it when I'm looking at you."

SG: "Is there anybody else who can talk sensibly?"

FT: "Go away, right now. You don't get the message, loonies!"

KA: "This is the last chance. Talk to us more sensibly."

FT [To other French knights]: "Bring cows."

Well, they certainly fixed that scene.

Barry Traylor said...

Back in 1970 when I bought my first motorcycle (a Honda) the owners manual was a riot of "lost in translation" from Japanese to English. I wish I had saved that manual as it was quite a hoot.

TimWarp said...

My favorite computer translation story: English=> Chinese (Cantonese? Mandarin? I know there's not such language as "Chinese") => English "Out of sight, out of mind" becomes "Invisible idiot."

Ken said...

I remember when the Japanese started marketing their own "Scotch" and the ad said made from the finest barley grapes.

Greg Ehrbar said...

To me, Joanie Sommers will always be the voice of Pricilla ("Speak for yourself, John") Mullins in the Rankin/Bass special, "The Mouse on the Mayflower." She sings a duet with John Gary. Perhaps there is a Japanese google of his life story, too.

As you might imagine, this cartoon is a beacon of historical detail. How could it otherwise with Tennessee Ernie Ford and Eddie Albert in it? It's a Thanksgiving tradition in our home. The edited syndicated version is on YouTube, though I'm looking forward to a Criterion release.

Johnny Walker said...

There’s an episode of “Behind the Music” waiting to be filmed (or should that be “Music the Behind”).