Meretricis smegma, or: more fun with Google Translate (Reader Challenge)

Long-time readers might recall a blogpost I wrote two or three years ago about the charms of mechanical translation as per Google Translate, which Ravenrux decried in the comments, but I prefer to cherish and celebrate.

Earlier today I updated the post to enlighten readers on what Google Translate says an Italian tweet, "que chevenga la chevecha anda chuve chive la chevechaa que che chuvee a la cabechaaa", means in English.*

But then, after experimenting with the ability of Latin to make any passage more elegant, no matter how little gravitas it had in the original, I hit upon a reader challenge idea, hence a fresh blogpost.

Ergo, gobs of glory will accrue to the first reader, who, either by use of their Latin knowledge (more impressive) or Google Translate (more fun), correctly identifies the post in Philosopher in Arms in which the ultimate three paragraphs of the penultimate scene, Google Translated into Latin--or a language that outwardly resembles Latin--read as follows.

Sed manifestum est # IV stupri. Non tamen tenetur a mauris nec clam te est quod beatus est. Et denique, te stupri partem olim iam crustas meretricis smegma, vestri 'questus quod vis. Secundum quod vidisti, et statuit. Aliquam mauris quam minuit minigh miniren, præcordia vulturem juxta genus suum, ut non procul a mauris a carro sterquilinio bug intra foeda, pus ferri debet indui vestibus regiis, concidit cadaver tuum in sacculum Computruerunt stercore, ut cum tuae ad se Arko stupri. Assignavimus vos ad me principes, et quecumque Vestibulum mauris Lorem dominarum LINTEUM PLACENTA et circulus pugnat. Tempus est ergo ad eum fama de recto, ita non ad morbum deficientibus animis hauriebantur gurgitibus, viderunt lepram in conlectus more lambebant RUCTO, inducens in chunks NUTAMEN de stercore, quod in facie tua est.

Vestibulum in spiritu, non impediat, si hoc verbo non minuit okas semitarii of fabulam, excepto te, ex tribus mauris turpis incessu duros nequeunt movere in tempore, lactans de Mantuae vel ore, sic comminuet, et dabo ignem spirans dura ventris tui recta asino super viis stupri. Nam ipsum.

Interdum modo elabitur,

Carpe diem, horde ravenus.


1) The capitalization in the Latin did not originate with the English. I am not sure where it originated. Possibly a mysterious internal Google process related to cosmic rays, brownian motion or a misaligned hamster-wheel in among the vast hamster-wheel arrays at Google's central processing complex. In other words, it is Not My Fault. Of course I could have edited it out. I did not, for the reason of which I am usually guilty: entertainment value.

2) I would like to point out a most extraordinary thing, a hint that perhaps, at least when all the hamster-wheels are running smoothly, the Google Translate technology occasionally accesses quantum or transcendent--perhaps even divine--energies, to achieve the most remarkable results.

Somehow, going from English to Latin and then back again, the utility has managed to change the last line, a sarcastic, flippant closing salutation, into an explanation whose tone could even be interpreted as appropriately apologetic for the text it follows. In other words, Google Translate transformed what the writer of the post's text wrote... to what he ought to have written.

An almost Anardikan miracle of modern technology!

3) Hint: Google Translate just the Latin word "stupri". Then, using your own knowledge (since Google Translate suffers the deficiency of not yet including Arkan) translate that into Arkan.

4) Second hint: "# IV" in the Latin is a straight translation, i.e. "#4."

Correct use of these two hints makes it easy.

*"que anda chuve chevecha chevenga the chive the chevechaa that this chuvee to the cabechaaa."

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02 Jan11:07

Spoiler alert

By Anonymous

Spoiler: Highlight to view

Two hundred and ninety five.

Did you know there appears to be a word limit on google translate if you access it with a tin' screened mobile phone?! Yeah, news to me. Google-fu eventually paid off though.

03 Jan01:00

For the record

By Stig Hemmer

The smart Anonymous poster was NOT me.

03 Jan04:43

Oh! D'oh! Sorry, Smart Anonymous Poster!

By Karen

Why did I think that was Stig? I saw he was on the site and then this post appeared, but now I realize that makes no sense whatsoever, because if it had been Stig it would have had his name on it. Duh.

A thousand pardons, Smart Anonymous Poster, from Dumb Author. Gobs of Glory Mail Packet being redirected.

02 Jan12:01

Nailed anonymously! [comment edited]

By Karen

Congrats. Your gobs of glory are in the mail. Hopefully the plastic-lined box will work.

I've taken the liberty of putting the answer in a spoiler box (I can edit all comments) so other readers can have the choice. But if you want to do this yourself in the future - it's "spoiler" within square brackets but no quotes at the beginning and "/spoiler" within same at the end.

Didn't know about the mobile word limit. Hmph I say. At least you're telling us it's Google-fu-able.

02 Jan12:11

Curious as to how you got it

By Karen

Can I get you to show your work...

Spoiler: Highlight to view one of these? Smiling

04 Jan20:43

Let's see if this works

By Anonymous

Spoiler: Highlight to view

Noticed a bunch of things that didn't have latin translations
Such as okas
Then there were those clues
And it had to be a letter of some sort, because there was a valediction
So I told google to look for chapters with 'four', 'okas' and 'fikken' - the word four, not the number, because when I tried that I mistakenly thought it would be #4 and that came up with nothing
There may have been some other search terms too, I forget. Those were definitely there though
Started looking through the results, found a likely one on page 3 or 5 or something of the results.
Then I noticed there was 2 words in the last bit before the valediction, so I used the text from the chapter, translated it into latin to confirm, and voila.

I hope that worked?

04 Jan20:55

It did indeed work

By Karen

Cool sleuthing.

Spoiler: Highlight to view

My feeling was that it would require use of both hints plus the search function, but you seem to have got it without one of the hints. Nice work.

02 Jan00:32

Giving up

By Anonymous

I asked Google Translate to render the above back into English and got something that I personally wouldn't call English.

It was so mangled that I couldn't even begin to guess which part of the book it was taken from.

There is some work left to be doing in the field of machine translation.

02 Jan00:38


By Stig Hemmer

That was me.

02 Jan05:47

Stig? You're still around?

By Karen

How cool is that! I thought you'd abandoned us a couple of years ago.

I obviously have to come up with a second, more clue-full, hint. I shall cogitate upon this. Done.

03 Jan00:59


By Stig Hemmer

I... did abandon you. I was having a rough time for irrelevant reasons and then I came to the Sack. I just couldn't continue.

For some reason I don't remember, I started thinking about these stories recently and with the help of Google I found you again.

I'm still not up to date, but looked at Recent Blog Posts anyway. (I am fairly spoiler-immune) So, one thing led to another and here I post.

03 Jan04:50

Ah, the Sack

By Karen

I know that was no fun to read, the comments made it clear.

My readership in general declined after that, but I have always thought it was because they felt the story was over... didn't occur to me that it might be because the horror of it drove them away. Now I wish I could do a poll, but you can't with readers who are gone.

Anyway, I'm very glad to have you back! Quite a few Yeoli warriors who were there during the Sack go asa kraiya afterwards, so possibly reading asa kraiya can be curative for Sack-scarred readers, too. Smiling My best wishes for a happy New Year.

21 Apr05:57

asa kraiya

By Anonymous

has healed a lot, for me . And not just the Sack, coz while I know there is a difference between reality and fiction, a lot of reality got healed through fiction, if that makes sense.

From someone who is a fan of your writing, in any genre, style and or whatever... Heck, I'd go on a camping trip you were organising, lady!

21 Apr07:57

Thanks Stig//// Ozzie Teach

By Karen

Next time I'm organizing a camping trip, I'll let you know Smiling

I'm out of practice since I moved to cottage country--sleeping out on my screen porch is as good as camping, complete with mosquitoes--but I actually used to be quite good at organizing camping trips, wanting to get out into this nature that I now live in.

asa kraiya is, at its heart, about healing me, but some things are universal. In writing fiction, I found truths I did not know I knew, so it most certainly makes sense.

21 Apr08:54

It's your australian friend (not, I assume 'stig')

By Anonymous

but you are more than welcome and I've just returned from an 'outback' trip, with ants longer than your little finger, snake trails in the sand, climbing rocks, coz you mis-judged the tide, millipedes in your water, climate-change fueled cyclones etc. etc...


sun rising in the ocean, using sand to tell story, finding images in the dark between the stars of the milky-way... singing songs in harmony...

But I don't doubt for a second you could plan the awesome trip!

Self healing - I have found - IS *universal healing*, even if you only share how you 'self-healed'.

People, e.g. me, may not believe 'how' you got there, but they tend to believe that 'getting there' is possible.

And. That. Is. The. Point.

Hence. Story.

Also... the negative spaces in the milkyway that tell a story...

How many stories might you tell looking at the stars, but only telling the spaces within them? I am so much looking forward to Alexander.

Also, how much have you read of R. Sutcliffe?

21 Apr12:15

That sounds totally exotic

By Karen

...hence alluring! Even that it's fall down there... up here right now it's been a long winter so we don't even want to think about fall.

>How many stories might you tell looking at the stars, but only telling the spaces within them?

An infinite number, I would think.

Believing that "getting there" is possible is the most crucial thing. As Chevenga says... "If it were possible... yes, of course I'd want it, who wouldn't?" Arguably, his coming to truly know it's possible takes the whole rest of the book... but if he didn't entertain even the slightest chance at the start, he'd get nowhere except onto his pyre.

Haven't read any Sutcliffe as of yet.

Thanks for looking forward to IA!

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