Sarah Palin Gets Lost in Translation

By Jake Strickler, Co-editor

Long ago, during my time as an undergraduate student at the beautiful University of Colorado in Boulder, my friends and I had a number of simple games we liked to play when we were bored or snowed-in or procrastinating. A very large, but steadily dwindling, case of cheap beer was generally involved and close-at-hand.

The "Selleck Hedgerow" in prime condition. From nbcnews.com
The “Selleck Hedgerow” in prime condition. From nbcnews.com

One is called Mustache TV, and has simple rules. First, you acquire the necessary supplies: a roll of clear tape and a black Sharpie marker. Next, you draw any kind of mustache on as many strips of the tape as you like. The only boundaries are set by your imagination. Go wild. Try out the Little Richard/John Waters pencil ‘stache, the Tom Selleck “hedgerow,” the “Cool Daddy-o” goatee, the prim “old-timey Wyatt Earp” waxed-end curlicue, or the 1970s-chic “handlebar” (which may require an extra strip of tape). The sky’s the limit. Now, place one or ten or seventeen of the things directly onto your television set in various positions. You’re ready to play: turn on the television and watch literally anything. Any time one of your mustaches lines up perfectly with somebody’s face, laugh, hoot, and holler. Repeat until the beer’s gone or everybody’s asleep; whichever comes first.

Another was a bit more nuanced and demanded a certain level of skill. It never acquired a proper name, and has neither beginning nor end. In fact, it carries on via text and Facebook Messenger to this day with a number of my friends scattered around the world.

Here’s how it works: you start with a bit of text, whether from everyday life or a book or whatever. Again, there are no boundaries here. You then run it through a gauntlet of languages using an online translator until you achieve the perfect balance of just-chopped-enough to be hilarious nonsense-poetry, but not mangled beyond recognition. For example, Tolstoy’s famous Anna Karenina opener “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way” is transmogrified into “But such a happy family; It regrets all this family’s misery” by running it through Maori, Bengali, Khmer, and back to English.

In the interest of providing some levity before the fresh hell of the Iowa caucus is unleashed upon the world over the weekend, culminating in Monday’s final tally, I have applied this exercise to some of my favorite lines from Sarah Palin’s recent speech/beatnik poetry rap in support of Mr. Donald Trump. Enjoy the results. The actual, real-deal things she said in English appear first in bold.


(In reference to President Obama’s handling of the recent event in which, according to the US Navy, ten sailors strayed into Iranian waters due to a mechanical problem, were detained for a number of hours, and returned to the Navy unharmed)

And he, who would negotiate deals, kind of with the skills of a community organizer maybe organizing a neighborhood tea, well, he deciding that, “No, America would apologize as part of the deal,” as the enemy sends a message to the rest of the world that they capture and we kowtow, and we apologize, and then, we bend over and say, “Thank you, enemy!”

 (Swedish-Yiddish-English)

He who would negotiate Offers, kind of with the skills of a community organizer might organize a neighborhood tea, yes, he decides to “No, America apology as part of the deal,” as the enemy sends a message to the world that they raise and we climb, and we apologize, and then, we bow and say, “Thank you, nice!”


 Only one candidate has a record of success that proves he is the master of the Art of the Deal. He is beholden to no one but We the People. How refreshing! He is perfectly positioned to let you make America Great Again. Are you ready for that?

(Vietnamese-Esperanto-English)

Only one candidate has a record of success that proves he is a master of the Art of the Agreement. He is craving for no one but We the People. How refreshing! He is the perfect place for you to make America Great Again. Are you ready for this?


No more pussy-footing around! Our troops deserve the best, you deserve the best

(Javanese-Nepali-Bulgarian-English)

Do not pussy foot around! Our troops, you deserve the best, the best!


Are you ready for a commander-in-chief who will let our warriors do their job and go kick ISIS ass? Ready for someone who will secure our borders, secure our jobs, and secure our homes? Ready to make America great again? Are you ready to stump for Trump? I’m here to support the next president of the United States, Donald Trump.

(Spanish-Icelandic-Turkish-English)

If our troops do the work and kick ass ISIS, allowing the commander in chief is ready, you are ready to be commander in chief? Our business is to secure, protect our borders and our house will allow you. Ready for one? Are you ready to make America great again? Are you ready to trust Trump? I was in the United States, Donald Trump. I’m here to support the next president.


Trump, what he’s been able to do, which is really ticking people off, which I’m glad about, he’s going rogue left and right, man, that’s why he’s doing so well. He’s been able to tear the veil off this idea of the system, the way that the system really works.

(Polish-Galician-English)

Trump can do that, that’s really kicking people off. I’m glad you want unfair to the right and left, man, because you’re doing so well. He was able to rip the veil off this idea of the system, so the system really works.


The permanent political class has been doing the bidding of their campaign donor class, and that’s why you see that the borders are kept open. For them, for their cheap labor that they want to come in. It’s for crony capitalists to be able suck off of them.

­­­­­­­­­(Chinese-Haitian Creole-English)

Permanent political class has made the offer of campaign contributions and the like, which is why you see the border remains open. For them, because they want to come the cheap labor which can be sucked out of crony capitalism.


How about the rest of us? Right wingin’, bitter clingin’, proud clingers of our guns, our God, and our religions, and our Constitution. Tell us that we’re not red enough? Yeah, coming from the establishment? Right.

(German-Serbian-English)

What about our others?The right wing, bitter binding, the nasal klinger,our guns,our God,our religion and our Constitution. Tell us that we are not red? Yes, from the device? That’s right.


My new desktop background, courtesy desktopnexus.com
My new desktop background, courtesy desktopnexus.com

 

We’re talking about no more Reaganesque power that comes from strength. Power through strength. Well, then, we’re talking about our very existence, so no, we’re not going to chill. In fact it’s time to drill, baby, drill, down, and hold these folks accountable. And we need to stop the self-sabotage and elect a new and independent candidate who represents that and represents America first, finally.

(Japanese-English)

We are talking about more of the Reagan Beams of Force that come from strength. Power through the strength. Well, then, since we’re talking about presence of us, no, we do not intend to chill. In fact, drill down, baby, drill, and of these people is the time to hold the responsibility. And we stop the self-destruction, and ultimately, it represents the next thing: you need to elect a new independent candidate representing the first of the United States.


His power, his passion, is the fabric of America. And it’s woven by work ethic and dreams and drive and faith in the Almighty. What a combination!

(Persian-Norwegian-Chichewa-English)

His power, his zeal, fabric of America. Work vehicles and dreams and faith in God are intertwined. What a mixture!


I want you to try to picture this. It’s a nice thing to picture. Exactly one year from tomorrow, former President Barack Obama. He packs up the Teleprompters and the selfie-sticks, and the Greek columns, and all that hopey-changey stuff and he heads on back to Chicago, where I’m sure he can find some community there to organize again. There, he can finally look up, President Obama will be able to look up, and there, over his head, he’ll be able to see that shining, towering, Trump Tower. Yes, Barack, he built that.

(French-Urdu-Punjabi-English)

I want you to try this. It is a beautiful thing to imagine. Exactly one year from today, President Barack Obama. Teleprompters and self-Rod, and Greek columns, and all that hopey-changey stuff to store packed. And I am sure to Chicago head back, where you can find a community. President Obama to end it on his head you can see, there will be able to find and efficient. Twinkle, Trump Tower, he will be able to see. Yes, Barack, they make it.


So, there you have it! Try it at home! It’s fun! There’s one last pre-caucus debate on Thursday, and Bad Boy Trump will not be attending because he thinks Megyn Kelly is mean and no matter how many disgusting sexist epithets or outright threats he hurls at her, Trump’s old buddy Roger Ailes won’t remove her as a moderator of the event. It’s all very mature and presidential. Instead, The Donald will be hosting a benefit event for veterans. I bet Sarah Palin will be there. Man, I hope she’s there.

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