Madonna & Blikk in Cyclical Translation

Posted by Rhizome | Fri Dec 20th 1996 1 a.m.

I wonder what would happen if I translated this into Chinese next? As a
meme circulating around the web, I seem to remember a discussion about
differences in language construction. The meme suggested that if a note
such as this were continually translated from one language to the next
it would become so garbled as to be unrecognizable. Or was that the meme
about changing money?

Anyone game to start a chain letter of translations? I have an English
to French program I can start with. Here's the note:

+ + +

From: das-sm@redshift.com (David Allen Smith & Susan Manchester)
Subject: Fwd: Madonna interview

The following is excerpts from an interview with Madonna by a Hungarian
newspaper (Blikk) translated into Hungarian and then back into English.

Blikk: Madonna, Budapest says hello with arms that are spread-eagled.
Did you have a visit here that was agreeable? Are you in good odor?
You are the biggest fan of our young people who hear your musical
productions and like to move their bodies in response.

Madonna: Thank you for saying these compliments [holds up hands]. Please
stop with taking sensationalist photographs until I have removed my
garments for all to see [laughs]. This is a joke I have made.

Blikk: Madonna, let's cut toward the hunt: Are you a bold hussy-woman
that feasts on men who are tops?

Madonna: Yes, yes, this is certainly something that brings to the
surface my longings. In America it is not considered to be mentally ill
when a woman advances on her prey in a discotheque setting with hardy
cocktails present. And there is a more normal attitude toward leather
play-toys that also makes my day.

Blikk: Is this how you met Carlos, your love-servant who is reputed? Did
you know he was heaven-sent right off the stick? Or were you dating many
other people in your bed at the same time?

Madonna: No, he was the only one I was dating in my bed then, so it is a
scientific fact that the baby was made in my womb using him. But as
regards these questions, enough! I am a woman and not a test-mouse!
Carlos is an everyday person who is in the orbit of a star who is being
muscle-trained by him, not a sex machine.

Blikk: O.K., here's a question from left space: What was your book Slut
about?

Madonna: It was called Sex, my book.

Blikk: Not in Hungary. Here it was called Slut. How did it come to
publish? Were you lovemaking with a man-about-town printer? Do you
prefer making suggestive literature to fast-selling CDs?
Madonna: These are different facets to my career highway.

Blikk: Thank you for your candid chitchat.

Madonna: No problem, friend who is a girl.
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