Many years ago I read a novel by PKDick where a lonely and depressed man was playing a weird game by phone using vocal translations.
It didn’t even have a name: it was just “the game”.
I loved that game.
It was intelligent and puzzling and someway “hi-tech”, involving automated translation servers.
Today we have automatic translators everywhere, sometimes with very ridiculous results, and I found out that on Google Play there are several audio translators, so “the game” could become real.
A smart english speaker could play even without a translator, just like Dick did (I suppose).
The novel title is Galactic Pot-Healer.
Here is the wikipedia page, which describes the game too:
"*His one entertainment is to call various friends on the worldwide telephone network and swap puzzles. *
These puzzles are created by translating a common English proverb or phrase into another language by using a language translation computer, and then translating it back to English the same way. The object of the game is to guess the original from the double translation."
The game is a small part of the novel and it’s entirely described on chapter one, which is available on YouTube as audiobook:
Description starts at 8:53.
I’m sure some forum users should enjoy it.
I don’t think I’m able to play now (I am not smart at all and I don’t have an audio translator on my phone yet) but I’d like to see it played here.
Wait so this is kind of like the ‘game’ where you use Google translate something into another language and back. You can also make a loop where you translate an expression through 2 or more languages but then back to the starting language.
Sadly, I don’t know English proverbs. But I have additional rule idea:
If no one able to guess correctly in 24 hours, then you need to translate proverb again through another language and post different result of same proverb. This will be help.
My 10 yr old daughter and I play a very similar game with Google Translate - except it’s just to generate humor.
We find some familiar song lyrics (Toxic by Brittney Spears works really well for this - something with a mix of proper grammar and impenetrable slang), then we
translate into Spanish
translate into Dutch
translate into Swahili
translate into Hebrew
translate into German
translate into Japanese
translate back into English
That particular switch-over between various different language families usually screws up verb/subject agreement pretty well, and makes some interesting connections within idioms and slang terms. Try it out!
There’s some cases like translating it to German or italian where it comes back more or less the same. French and Spanish are slightly different. I can do something like that to make it easier if we’re bored of guessing this