Talkin’ Nietzsche with Speechy

Bad Translation Department

Photo by Artem Kniaz on Unsplash

Sometimes there’s nothing more amusing than a bad translation. One time, for example, my wife and I were heading to a Japanese restaurant called Hanabi. I dictated a sentence to our son whom we planned to meet. As I hit send, Susie noticed that Siri changed some of the words, and my son got a message to meet us at “Her Knobby.”

Fortunately, he figured it out.

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Image for post
Painting by the author.

On my iPhone, the autocorrect on my email app changes the word “Tanx” — my shorthand for Thanks — to Tanzania. Because I never figured out how to fix this I stopped using Tanx.

All this to say that a couple weeks back someone said that Speechy is a useful tool for voice recognition and translating spoken words to print, so I downloaded the app to my iPhone.

I hoped to use it for capturing quotes from audiobooks . That is, I could capture a section, email it to myself and put the quote in my blog.

After trying it once or twice, I let Nietzsche give it a shot. Here is an excerpt from his The Genealogy of Morals:

Call me motion emotion as possible to stimulate that they need the best pretext available someone or other must be guilty of the fact that I am ill characteristic of all sick people remains hidden in an illness of the nerve is sympathetic nerves or in an excessive or in a lack of potassium sulfate and phosphate in the blood bring some pressure in the lower abdomen which blocks the circulation or the degeneration of the ovaries and someone suffering people all have a horrible willingness and capacity for inventing pretext for painful emotional feelings they enjoy even their suspicions or bad actions and apparent damage

As stories are free to feast on an agonizing suspicion and to get intoxicated on the poison of their own anger death from Long Hill scars the term friends wives children else was closest to them into criminals

That isn’t exactly what I was hoping for. Yes, Nietzsche can sometimes be difficult. This passage is as incomprehensible as Finnegan’s Wake.

By way of contrast, here’s something a little more straightforward from Nietzsche’s pen, with no help from Speechy: “Truth tends to reveal its highest wisdom in the guise of simplicity.” That quote from Human, All Too Human serves as a perfect setup for this little pearl: “Without music, life would be a mistake.”

And the beat goes on.

An avid reader who writes about arts, culture, literature & other life obsessions. @ennyman3 Look for my books on Amazon

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