Found In Translation

Akim Reinhardt

Jasper Johns, I have taken several famous political passages from American History and run them repeatedly through Google Translator. I present them here in verse form. An explanation follows, but first, please enjoy these poems.

Join the Team (The Declaration of Independence: Opening)
He joined the team
and they have a separate equal station
to understand and to be separated from God
Human, land, honor, human activities such as authority,
is required to follow the natural laws,
and growing in another way

Self-Evident Truth: Hynaur (Declaration of Independence)
We had a life, liberty and happiness
of the invasion of the rights of the creator,
it is clear that he believes
that like all men are created equal …. hynaur

Our Sacred HonorStatue of Liberty (The Declaration of Independence: Conclusion )
This announcement:
The organization and protection of Providence
To give our lives
To help our country and our sacred honor.

A More Perfect Union (Preamble to the Constitution)
American people
in their ability to protect the U.S. Constitution
welfare for children in public,
system security state and to keep the peace,
could be more perfect union.

The Right Combination (Second Amendment to the Constitution)
Freedom of speech,
or of Congress
or newspaper religion
or people
do not get the right combination
Of passive or prohibiting
the free exercise,
and asks the government for redress of the complaint.

Moving On (Second Amendment to the Constitution)
Better control of the military security,
to keep and bear arms,
free country,
people are right,
it is necessary it is no longer the case.

The Color it Was Before (15th Amendment to the Constitution)
Can be a U.S. citizen,
Mel Gibson in regardless of the vote,
or to limit the U.S. government race,
or color, it was before.

Rejected (19th Amendment to the Constitution)
U.S. citizens can vote in any state in the United States
on grounds of sex
or rejected,
or summary.

How These Poems were Constructed

I cut and pasted various pieces of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution into Google Translator. After entering a piece of text, I then set about translating it relentlessly through multiple languages. I typically translated a document 10-20 different times, never repeating any language during a single document's translation process. I always began with the original English text, and always concluded in English to get the text you see here. Other than the final translation of each piece back into English, I never used English as a translating language during the process.

Most documents went through the translation process only once, though “Join the Team” and “The Color it was Before” were run twice; in each case the documents came out excessively jumbled the first time, and a second effort produced a more coherent translation

The poems you see here are the exact text produced on final translation back into English. The only modifications were some minor tweaking of punctuation, case, and the breaking lines of text to approximate blank verse.

Akim Reinhardt blogs regularly at The Public Professor.