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Lost in translation

Since English is my second language, I have always been intrigued by automatic translation.  My "Turing" test for translation engines is to feed the translated output back into the same engine in the opposite direction.

Case in point: the first sentence of this post is translated by Babelfish into Italian -

Poiché l'inglese è la mia seconda lingua, sono stato incuriosito sempre tramite la traduzione automatica.

Now, Babelfish translates the above Italian text into English, as:

Since English is my second language, has been made curious always through the automatic translation.

Not that bad, really.

The tag line of this blog is "recycling chartjunk into junk art".  What happens in the other direction?  The answer is on this page!

This entry is inspired by Michael M.


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What a great example of chartjunk in that link! The first Excel chart wasn't too bad, them BAM, pimp my chart.

A line graph would have probably been best to show the batting average of the three players over the time period.

Thanks for the good laugh.

Jon Peltier

You too can make charts for USA Today!


Seriously. Horrible graph. They didn't even use baseballs to represent the information nor did they utilize small umpire icons or gloves. A crying shame.

John S.

I tried that translation experiment with your tag line, using French instead of Italian:

"Re-use of the refuse of diagram like art of refuse"


A quote from the second link really seal the deal:

"By doing this, you can make the differences between the columns seem more dramatic by shortening the range."

Patrick Murphy

I had trouble looking at the final graph. All those bats -- especially the dark, fat one with the light handle -- looked like corn dogs. Maybe it's because it's lunch time right now, so food is on my mind!


Getting any search engine to translate is tricky, but I really think that Babelfish did well on this occasion.

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