‘Google translaterature’ is the name I’ve given to a creative writing game I sometimes play, because I’m a giant dork who enjoys that sort of thing. Here are the steps, should anyone wish to indulge their own dorkery:
- Take a magazine article/ newspaper article/ book, or any piece of writing that you find interesting.
- Choose a passage or two, and type them into google translate- translating these words as many times as you can, into as many different languages as you can, but going back to your chosen/ first language many times so that you can see how the translating is causing the original passage to evolve in unexpected ways. Keep going until the sentence/ sentences on the screen no longer resemble the ones you originally typed. Along the way, write down any groups of words that you find funny or interesting. Keep going for as long as you like.
- Create a story, poem, recipe, artwork, joke, letter, or furniture assembly instructions using all the new sentences you’ve written down as a starting point ( or as a piece on their own) .
I mention this, because the next thing I post will be a story which I arrived at through this method. If anyone guesses the book I used to extract my ‘starter’ sentence, I’ll build you a chocolate replica of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, complete with cars, and a giant, menacing, ferret named Quimbly Von Colgate.