Back in the fall, I mentioned that Wayward Sparkles was global. By that, I mean that people from all over the world access my blog. Since not everyone speaks or reads English, that begs the question: How does someone in a non-English speaking or writing country read my blog? Do my posts automatically convert to their language or are the people from these different countries proficient in English?
In response to the questions I’ve had, I’ve nurtured this romantic notion that:
- ex-pats from the US are checking out my blog to get a dose of the kind of life they’re missing here while living abroad; or
- maybe they aren’t ex-pats, maybe they’re just Americans visiting abroad and are desperately in need of a fix from the good ol’ USA; or
- this is a nice way for those learning Americanized English to immerse themselves in our crazy American culture and the idiosyncratic language of this Texan (me); or
- that there are those in the world who just appreciate American humor and our way of life who can speak and read the language fairly well.
Whatever their reason/s, I literally get people from all over the world who manage to land on my blog site, which is always awe-inspiring and quite humbling.
Even so, imagine my surprise yesterday when I saw this come across my dashboard.
Along with what I’m showing on this screenshot is also a line of text above it that I’m not displaying that has the flag of origin and IP address for the individual who checked out my site. I’m not showing you that line because I can’t figure out how to pixelate the IP address while leaving the flag unfiltered — and I’m not going to share people’s IP addresses, y’all, even when they’re from a different country. What I will say is that the flag was a new one for Wayward Sparkles, meaning that this was the first time that someone from this particular country accessed my blog. So here, hold on a second. Let me see if I can do something —
Okay, what I’ve done for the sake of my readers is copied and pasted and majorly cropped a portion of this screen shot so you can see this particular flag of origin that showed up on my dashboard but so you still don’t see the IP address:
It’s a little distorted (all of these images came out distorted) because I cropped and then blew the image up so you could actually see the flag. Well, that flag, as it turns out, is from the Islamic Republic of Iran. So how about that?!
And that particular IP address from the Islamic Republic of Iran was looking for:
And so, presumably, whenever this person did a search for whatever it was that he or she was looking for, their search engine suggested my post on Wayward Sparkles, “Sex or Not to Sex — Wait — What???!!!”
Of course, I don’t read or speak whatever language this is (Iranian?) so I was curious and wanted to know what exactly this person was looking for. So I turned to Google for help in translating
This is what Google said in response:
Well, then. There are two mysteries solved here — the writing is Persian and now I know what that writing means — in English. Sexy Video.
Sexy Video?! What the what?!
Uhm. I’m not sure what to say at this point, Wayward Friends. Should I apologize to the person in Iran who didn’t get the sexy video they were looking for when they landed on my blog?
Should I call this person out with,
Hey, Dude or Dudette, you are sooooo busted! Also, you’re from Iran of all places! I thought that was infidel-type stuff that y’all stayed away from and, yet, here you are on my site actively looking for pornography of all things? Are you crazy?!!! By the way, I’m not judging you per se — you do whatever you need to do. Your sex life is your own business and I don’t need to know anything about it! Also, I can’t help you find what you’re looking for.
However, since we’re now having this little chat, I’m just saying that I didn’t think Iranians looked at porn — at least not in Iran. Also, I didn’t realize that what you’re doing is Ayatollah approved, is it? Yeah, I didn’t think so. YEP, YOU ARE SOOOO BUSTED!
Still, it’s good to know that people are people, wherever they’re from — vices and all — and you, sir or madam, are willing to take that risk to indulge in your particular vice, even though you could potentially get caught and prosecuted, which means you are a risk-taker! Nice. Unless it’s an addiction. Then, maybe, not so nice.
So, just out of curiosity, what exactly is the punishment if you do get caught? I’d hate to think that an important part of your anatomy attached to your personhood might get cut off. Y’all still cut off appendages as punishment — a hand because you stole something — or an eye-for-an-eye kind of thing — right? Sooo, pornography, huh? You potentially have a lot on the line to lose, my friend! And I’m not just talking about your reputation either! Ouch. Well, good luck to you in the future.
By the way, your secret is safe with me. I’m not telling on you — just suggesting that you be careful where you search online in the future. You never know who’s out there and who’s watching and whether or not the site you think is what you’re looking for is really a trap instead of just a bad interpretation/ failed translation from a search engine. Anyway, I’m glad you ended up on my site instead of prison. Okay? Also, I’m glad we’re not having this conversation face-to-face.
Maybe, I should write the above part in Persian, just to make it easier for “whoever” to read if they decide to return to my site because they enjoyed it even though it isn’t a “sexy video.” Okay, per Google translator, here goes nothing —
هی، دود یا دوته همچنین شما از همه جا از ایران هستید! من فکر کردم این چیزهای کافر است که از دور باقی مانده است و هنوز اینجا هستم و به طور فعال آن را دنبال می کنم؟ دیوانه ای؟!!! به هر حال، من به شما قضاوت نمی کنم – شما کاری را که شما باید انجام دهید انجام دهید. زندگی جنسی شما کسب و کار شماست و نیازی به دانستن چیزی در مورد آن نیست! من فقط می گم که من فکر نمی کنم ایرانی ها به پورنوگرافی نگاه کنند – حداقل در ایران نیست. همچنین، من متوجه نشدم که آیتالله امیرالمؤمنین (علیه السلام) چه کاری انجام می دهد، آیا این کار را می کند؟ آره، من فکر نکردم YEP، شما SOOO سوار شده است!
با این حال، خوب است بدانید که مردم مردم هستند، در هر کجا که هستند – وصیت ها و همه چیز – و شما، آقا یا خانم، مایل به ریسک گرفتن در معاشرت خاص خود، حتی اگر شما به طور بالقوه می توانید گرفتار، که به این معنی است که شما ریسک پذیر هستید! خوب.
پس اگر مجازات شدید، مجازات چیست؟ من از اینکه فکر می کنم چیزی مهم است ممکن است قطع شود. Y’all همچنان عضلات را به عنوان مجازات بریده است – دست به این دلیل که چیزی را دزدیده اید – یا یک چشم چشمی برای یک چشم – درست؟ خیلی ممنون خوب، موفق باشید در آینده. به هر حال، راز شما با من امن است. من به شما نشان نمی دهم – فقط پیشنهاد می دهم که مراقب باشید که در آینده در اینترنت جستجو کنید. شما هرگز نمی دانید که چه کسی وجود دارد و چه کسی شما را تماشا می کند و اینکه سایت شما فکر می کنید همان چیزی است که شما دنبال آن هستید، به جای یک تفسیر بد از یک موتور جستجو، یک دام است. باشه؟ همچنین، من خوشحالم
That looks so cool! Persian writing really is beautiful. Sometimes when things go right, I love Google and technology!
Which is why I sooooo don’t understand how this mix up happened in the first place. Okay, Google —
WHY IS MY BLOG COMING UP IN PEOPLE’S SEARCH ENGINES WHEN THEY ARE LOOKING FOR PORN?
I’m definitely having a lost in translation moment — but not anything like the 2003 movie by the same name. So just to be clear — if you’re thinking that this post has anything to do with that movie — stop, because it doesn’t. There is no romance or connection or second chances at life here. There is no Bill Murray or Scarlett Johansson here. There is no Tokyo here.
Also, there’s no porn.
This whole translation fail got me to thinking that I bet I’m not the only one who’s run into trouble. Following, for your amusement, are some additional funny/awkward language transition fails that you can find if you click here:
Below are some of my favs!