Google Translate Abuse

by Translation Guy on June 1, 2011

These damned kids and all their boop-de-boop beatbox foolishness. It’s an outrage the way they are misusing a serious machine translation tool like Google for their antics instead of for serious, possibly lifesaving translation. As reported early on by Translation Guy, these so-called “hep cats” have been laying down musical rifts by typing in nonsense words in German and other languages and then playing back the translation in audio. Gott im Himmel! And they call that music! Here’s a sample from a Google Demo slam.

Well, I hate to say I told you so, so I’ll just leave out the rest of the phrase, but, because, as exclusively predicted by me internet ages ago, these so-called “beatbox artists” have taken their Google Translate beatbox antics to even new lows (and highs). And it’s worse even than I feared, a virulent global phenomenon, pandemic of pandemonium.

Members of the jury, exhibit one: Composer Taiwanese Pianist Wiwi Kuan (官大為), Google Translate Abuser.

In Taiwan, certain individuals have started using the Google Translate audio to sing songs they’ve composed or to spoof videos. By Google’s own admission, this video called “Google Translate Song” ratcheted up over half a million views and became one of the most popular YouTube videos in Taiwan recently.  On his Blog, Wiwi claims 40 million hits, which means he’s getting a lot more hits in addition to Facebook since he’s feel-good news for a quarter of humanity, or Google translate can’t handle numbers in Trad Chinese, which is how I translated the post on his blog, Wiwi want to thank you all to join in PDF sheet music to give you the way!

If that’s not enough, check out the TV interview with Wiwi here. Looks like a nice kid, but looks can be deceiving. Let that be a lesson to you: Google Translate abusers look just like you and me.

But for total debasement of all the standards that Google Translate holds most dear (“Do no evil” is a very high standard, in its own way…), we must turn to Lady Gaga. This video I got from Josh Wolford, who describes it as “And then there’s this…whatever this may be.” You said it, Josh.

Listening to this was the first time I understood the words, which is the only silver lining in this gathering plague-cloud of wanton Google Translate misuse. I invite concerned readers to post links to other good examples, as fuel to my outrage.


  1. Nora says:

    The pokerface version was the most painful thing I have ever endured (and I have had many kidney stones). I am considering unsubscribing from your blog for this Ken. You so just ruined my day!

    • Ken says:

      A post on my blog hurts worse than a kidney stone? Ouch! Try this. Two-liter carton of Chablis, add vicodin to taste. Sure, a morphine drip is preferable for those extra large stones (I feel your pain, sister, I’m a serial stoner myself) but it works like a charm for writing these posts, and I think will make reading them more pleasant too. Whatever you do, DON’T CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION!

  2. Bill Groen says:

    Ouch. Your blog just dropped to the 1000th page on Google for this :-)

    • Ken says:

      And I thought it was Panda that did it. Glad you had the patience to find me, Bill

  3. Maria says:

    I think you just dubbed an exclusively, new term Ken ‘Google Translate abuser’s’ LOL!

  4. Mudfoot says:

    Wow, what geeks!

  5. The geeks are taking over and ruining Gaga

  6. This is shit.

  7. Deb Kotlarz says:

    That hurt my ears man. Please remove this vid Ken!

    • Ken says:

      What??!! And raise the quality of content on the Web? Not on my watch!

  8. Muffin says:

    better than the real one!!! AMAZING!!!!

  9. Grace says:

    I wish you could see my weak pokerface right now…

  10. Lex says:

    Oh my…

  11. dalmond says:


  12. Miriam says:

    oh (pause) ohohohoh (pause) ohohohoho

  13. Fritzie says:

    I don’t know English very well but I laughed 😀

  14. Dezi says:

    OMG You people cannot imagine how helpful something like this is for ESL students!!!!!! :)()

  15. ABSTRAKTUS says:

    Imagine if someone sang this song, the exact same way, on american idol.

    • Ken says:

      Next season perhaps? Maybe they’ll have IBM’s Watson complete as done on Jeopardy last year.

  16. Word Ninja says:

    this aint G-T, thi is Lady Gaga with no A-T

  17. Minnie says:


  18. Dixie says:

    This is how Stephen Hawking hears music.

  19. Casanova says:

    Cool! Now I understand the lyrics!

  20. Joy says:

    LOL at the long pause after the second verse, before the chorus 😀 x

    I love it.

  21. Abby says:

    She sings better than Lady Gaga

  22. Poofu says:


  23. Rick Bosl says:

    What is the world coming to Ken? I pray this is not the next big phase of the new gen of kids…

    • Ken says:

      I’m afraid it is Rick. Why back in my day, we used to get up off the sofa to change the channel….

  24. Wow, what geeks!

  25. I’m hip, but obviously not this hip..

    • Ken says:

      Some are hipper than others, Charley. You have nothing to be ashamed about.

  26. Sasa says:

    Google translate gone gaga!

LiveZilla Live Chat Software