Lost In Translation

A 13-post collection

Challenge #04056-K038: Handle With Extreme Caution

This crate contain dimensional rings that bends space in a way so it acts as a nice little pocket to store our customers belongings. You two idiots put it beside our GRAVITY GENERATOR. If you don’t know how gravity works, you better be grateful that I check the cargo and didn’t turn on the engine. -- Anon Guest

[AN: Dimensionally transcendent spaces usually don't mix with scifi (Doctor Who is a documentary lol) and can be a problem for drama purposes]

It finally happened. B'Nar had heard about Shayde's trickery with pocket realities and decided to experiment with making their own. B'Nar always did push the line between sufficiently advanced technology and sufficiently analysed magic.

The result of their experiments, besides several craters and one entrance to another dimension where nobody came back the same, was a pair of rings the size of hula hoops and a small library's worth of cautionary instructions.

Some of which were on the transit packaging.

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Challenge #03832-J180: Idea Unplugged

A: Humans apparently the shirts says peace defender and this one says virtue.

[shirts actual translation: I come in peace / I’m peace]

Human 1: (in whispers) I don’t have the heart to tell them…

Human 2: (also in whispers) Don’t, this gonna be hilarious when they figure it out.

A: Anyway I’m going to present these to my mate. -- Anon Guest

"Maybe they have figured it out?" whispered Human Vit as ze watched Companion Clem carefully fold

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Challenge #02867-G310: Unexpected Bargain

A human, intent on preparing a treat for havenworlder shipmates, orders a large amount of sugar. Due to a mix-up somewhere along the line, this human receives a large delivery of sugarcane instead and, well, "waste not, want not" -- Anon Guest

"Wait. Why is this shipment in bales? I said 'boxes'..." Human Thal checked their invoice archives. "That's a 'B' in the receipt, but it doesn't say what that stands for... Oh shit, that's a big number..."

Something had yet again

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Challenge #02783-G226: Untranslatable

I wanted to sing, but it didn’t work translated to gal-simple. So I tried a mental translators, but then I learn that it most only scan the left side of the brain for the sentence structures. Singing comes from the right side. -- Anon Guest

[AN: There's growing evidence that the left-brain/right-brain stuff isn't as real as we once thought. However, there are other things that say it's real in very specific directions.]

Sometimes, you just got to sing. Sometimes,

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Challenge #02364-F174: Deconstruct Reconstruct

With so many species coexisting, we must create new stories and nursery-rhymes. This is one such story. -- Anon Guest

Three blind Meiss, three blind Meiss/ See how they run, see how they run/ They all ran after the farmer's wife/ Who cut off their tails with a carving knife/ And violated the cogniscent rights/ Of three blind Meiss. -- one of many adjustments to Human nursery rhymes.

There are others. With integration comes a certain amount of cultural cross-pollination, so to

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Challenge #02352-F162: An Easy Mistake

A Havenworlder Crew tries their best to make the Ship Humans Birthday Party great.

They bake a cake for him.

The only problem is, that they used salt instead of sugar. -- Anon Guest

Human Neis could tell that her fluffles had knocked out all the stops. They had made the extra effort, for sure. Not just securing presents and decorations, but also gathering every ingredient they could for the party food, including completing all the steps necessary to create those foods.

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Challenge #01979-E155: The Horror

We've all done it. Yelled at the screen when the 'new guys' did something to an old favourite. -- Knitnan

"They made a movie out of Sigh of the Wind!"

Kam looked at his nerd sister. "And you want me to go see it with you."

"Well... camouflage. I don't want some neckbeard mansplaining my favourite novel series to me for the entire film." Jen shrugged. Women were always challenged on their knowledge of Sigh of the Wind despite being the target

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Challenge #01902-E078: They Who Laugh Last

"I'm hungry !" / "Hi Hungry, I'm dad !"

"A man walks into a bar and says 'Ouch'."

"Why is a raven like a writing desk ? Because there is a 'b' in both and an 'n' in neither."

Those 3 English examples show perfectly why a "universal translator" is something impossible. You CAN translate it, but it will be incomprehensible.

Not convinced ? Here's a French example with a literal translation :

Que dit une maman baleine a son enfant qui fait trop de bruit ?

Cétacé ! (C'est

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Challenge #01802-D341: Communication Breakdown

Aliens who don't realise the importance of body language -- TheDragonsFlame

Humans are especially hard to understand, according to some species. Humans have traditions like ablaut reduplication and repetitious emphasis which make the words, "Like, like-like like," a valid portion of an explanation. And then there's the fact that they use their manipulating limbs to express themselves.

It was one of the finer points that the Cho'mago missed during their first few encounters with Humans. They were an insectoid species and, since

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Challenge #01770-D309: One Aggravating Evening on a Space Station

Everyone’s translators break down at the worst possible moment. -- TheDragonsFlame

Someone had sabotaged the Universal Translator. Someone for whom the peace negotiations meant only trouble. Unfortunately, there were plenty of parties who could fit that particular motive.

The negotiations room on Deep Space Nine had become a tower of Babel. Bajoran, Cardassian, several Terran dialects, Ferengi and Vulcan and Breen. All at once. Dax knew Vulcan, Ferengi, and all of the Terran tongues, but there was only one other person

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Challenge #01769-D308: Like a Bad Smell

Imagine a race of Aliens who communicate through scent like humans communicate through body language. So when they run into us they're terrified of this species that likes to coat itself in the equivalent of 'Berserker Rage'. And when we DO stop wearing 'perfume/cologne' we're so 'blank' to them that they'd almost prefer the emotional screaming again. -- Anon Guest

They could communicate with dancing hands, and that was well and good. It wasn't until they attempted in-atmosphere communication that things

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Challenge #01242-C147: Confused in Translation

http://haberdashing.tumblr.com/post/143298955329/motorizedduck-translating-is-hard-work-even -- Gallifreya

"It is... ah... what is word? A means of communicating when no longer present. Wisdom to be passing down from generations. Time... pressed...into formats for sharing."

"That," said M'llix, "Sounds rather impressive."

"No. Not being impressive. Is much common," said the human. "So everywhere that is ignored. People using for profession considered not having real profession. Is basis for all entertainments, but overlooked. Children is learning from young age, mastery of such.

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Challenge #00700 - A335: One Dead Hour at Unsuitable Food

[AN: Image shows a table of Uncommon But Useful Conversions. The list runs thus:

Time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement: 1 Bananosecond
Two monograms: 1 Diagram
Ratio of an igloo’s circumference to its diameter: Eskimo Pi
1 kilogram of figs: 1 Fig Newton
Basic unit of laryngitis: 1 Hoarsepower
1000 aches: 1 Kilohurtz
Time it takes to sail 220 yards at 1 nautical mph: Knot-furlong
365.25 days of drinking less-filling low-calorie beer: 1 Lite Year

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