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Oct 02 2013

Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll, transcribed by a Mac

Yesterday I tried Middle English, so today, nonsensical English seemed to be the next best thing.

Twist Briley again the slightly toes,
Did jarring gimbal in the wave:
Almonds you were the Bora Groves,
And the mom race outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the closet catch!
Beware the judge of Bird, and shunned
The feminist benders snatch!”

He took his mortal sword in hand;
Long time the men’s own photo he sought –
So rested he by the tom-tom tree
Instead a while in thought.

And, as an office thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the told you would,
And verbal does it came!

One, too! One, too! And through and through
The vocal blade went snicker snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, might beamish boy!
Of fab just day! Hello! Calais!
It chortled in his joy.

Twist Greg, and the slighty toes
Did John gambling the wave:
On Mimsy were the Bora Groves,
And the Momerath upgrade.

The original:

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

20 comments

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  1. 1
    Al Dente

    Fun with speel chequers.

  2. 2
    leftwingfox

    DYING!!! Thank you! :D

  3. 3
    leftwingfox

    Now that I’ve recovered somewhat, the second verse seems to take a detour through the slymepit.

  4. 4
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    it’s almost as good as auto-generated youtube subtitles!

  5. 5
    thinksanddrinks

    Even without getting all of the references, that was great.

  6. 6
    angharad

    That’s almost as good as Jabberwocky translated into German

  7. 7
    Scr... Archivist

    So you’re reading to the computer and this is what it thinks you’re saying? Interesting. I suppose different readers will have different results, depending on such things as accent and diction. What program are you using?

    The quotes have been excellent choices so far, and they might make for an entertaining video. You’d hear the person speaking the real work, and see the computer’s output onscreen. I’d be interested to know what happens with Beowulf and Finnegan’s Wake, and maybe a Nadsat-filled passage of A Clockwork Orange.

    On a related note, have you ever played the game where you take a sentence and translate it through several other languages and then back to English? Your transcription mechanism reminds me of the results from that process.

  8. 8
    Ashley F. Miller

    Just the native mac translation. As you can see, it doesn’t even translate me the same each time — first and last verse should be the same.

    What I like about this more than the getting back to english one is that, for the most part, it sounds like the original in meter and rhyme.

    I will add those to my list of things to do. Feel free to post a passage you’d particularly like done.

  9. 9
    Ashley F. Miller

    Feminist Bender’s Snatch!

  10. 10
    Ethan Myerson

    I would totally go see a band called “Feminist Benders Snatch”.

  11. 11
    A Hermit

    Hello! Calais! sounds like a travel documentary…

  12. 12
    HumanisticJones

    “And the Momerath upgrade”

    O frabjous day! The singularity is at hand!

  13. 13
    =8)-DX

    “The feminist benders snatch!”

    Totally favourite band name. Or a feminist war-cry! Darn I don’t get to shout it in that case.

  14. 14
    DonDueed

    It’s really interesting that the transcription was successful with several of Carroll’s coinages — whiffling, galumphing, beamish, outgrabe (once) — but not all, even one that is in pretty wide use (gyre).

    But now I want to meet the feminist banders snatch in the told you would. Hello! Calais!

  15. 15
    Ysidro

    New band name!

  16. 16
    Callinectes

    Is it weird that I have the original memorised?

  17. 17
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    That’s what I latched onto as well.

    Don’t disparage the snatch of this feminist bender, i tell you!

    But also:

    as an office thought he stood,

    Doesn’t speak well of the thinking done in offices, does it?

    There’s thoughts, and then there’s “office thoughts”. Kind of like there are brainstorming sessions and there are meetings.

  18. 18
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Callinectes:
    We’re weird in exactly the same way, so, there’s that. I can’t tell you, however, if that should relieve or concern you.

    Moving on:

    the closet catch!

    Yeah, I know older gay guys who had some of these…

  19. 19
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Of fab just day! Hello! Calais!

    Taking the Chunnel to the continent will never be the same again! Sigh, and people will have no idea why I’m laughing like a mad thing when we hit the sunlight and I scream: Of Fab, Just day! Hello, Calais!

  20. 20
    myeck waters

    Back in the olden days someone fed Jabberwocky to the spell check on an Apple Newton. Behold Tablespoons.

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