Google Translate Used To Recreate Poems From Various Languages

Google Translate Used To Recreate Poems From Various Languages

Literature is translated several times which creates new meanings and forms with a broken telephone effect.

Keerthana Jagadeesh
  • 12 july 2013

Ari Eckols has utilized the translation powers of Google to recreate different versions of 10 original poems. The original version is first translated into a different language and then translated back to English, changing the meaning slightly. This translated version is then put through Google Translator a couple more times, creating two new versions of the poem. The poems are then laid out in four panels, showcasing each version and the new sentences and word choices that give each version a new meaning.


The final resulting versions of the translated poems are sometimes better than the original poem showing how the logic and grammar of the English language are not always the best mediums of poetic meaning. The distortions in meaning that occur during language translation show how culture can alter universal expressions and phrases.


These poems are a part of our mash-up culture of everything from photos to music to food to literature which have led us through endless hours of web browsing. What is it about seeing a mashup of daily news and everyday faces? Or celebrities of different eras fused into one person? They’re hilarious for one thing and they show how independent, unrelated things can be connected and brought together to create something new and exciting. This shows how nothing is really singular and solitary on the Internet- everything is up for grabs!

Download the e-book pdf here!

Ari Eckols


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