Lost in translation … of Babel fish and Chessmen

Greetings … I have to tell you that I sometimes find it necessary to make clumsy attempts at writing to certain individuals in languages other than English.
I know a few words and simple phrases in several languages … but only enough I fear to get me into trouble … rather than out of it. There are of course a few universal words such as Hi, Coca-cola and Bobby Charlton but these are rather limited in their use I fear.
Fortunately … I have a friend … a useful and very understanding friend called Babel fish.

The Babel fish is the wonderful translator fish invented by the late Douglas Adams in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. I am however referring to the online text translation service called Babel fish.

I recently had occasion to communicate with Anatoly Karpov, the world famous Russian chess grandmaster. He is ranked as one of the greatest players of all time. I thought I would try writing a brief communication in Russian.

Greetings… my name is Kris White and I am a writer living in Scotland. I want to write a letter to Anatoly Karpov. Do you speak English or should I write in Russian ?
Best Wishes
Kris White

Приветствия
Мое имя Kris белое и я сочинитель живя в Scotland.I хочу написать письмо к гу-н Anatoly Karpov.Do вы говорите английскую язык или я пробуете написать в русском. Хорошие желания Белизна

I received an email back a couple of days later in English saying that English was just fine.
Out of sheer curiousity I re-translated my amazingly brilliiant attempt at Russian back into English :

Greetings My name Of kris is white and I writer living into Scotland.I I want to write letter to [gu]- n Of anatoly Of karpov.Do you you speak English or I try to write in the Russian. Good desires the whiteness Kris

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3 responses to “Lost in translation … of Babel fish and Chessmen

  1. Yep it really is hilarious how troubles similar to this one begin looking amazingly insignificant compared to the world news. Another phase of the cold-war, the actual authentic war that erupts, Russia-China gas offer axis… Nonetheless here we are with our social media problems, – will we notice the globe has transformed? I’m not expressing what you write about is unnecessary, Iam stating a certain level of detachment is balanced. Thanks, Sarah @ http://phyto-renew350e.com/

  2. I love going on blogs that don’t speak English it takes some time to get use to but I have found that sooner or later they will reply to my posts I have two from Germany rite now who are regulars it’s all about how you approach your reply

  3. Sheldonk2014, thanks for the encouragement. I am new to blogging and certainly hope to reach out to everyone willing to stop by my blog and say, hello! I would like to start the ball rolling…so nice to see that efforts might yield results.

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