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Home Improvements

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Dear Kay,
FINALLY. Take a look to the right. In the interest of building a better blog, we now have Google providing insta-translation in 45 different languages. Croatian, Filipino, all kinds of things. Hebrew, Kay! Yiddish!
I’m curious to hear from anyone who’s multilingual: just how peculiar does all this sound when translated by a computer? (As opposed to just plain old English peculiar, I mean.)
So go ahead: one world, y’all! I mean, it’s a Google world. I can’t wait til Google will knit my socks for me. Any day now, any day.
Door Story
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I am buzzing mightily right this minute on the drywall fumes that are wafting through the bedroom, now that the project I have stalled on for eight years is now officially underway. I am getting a door to my bathroom. What moron would design a bathroom with two entries and zero doors? Is there a more powerful way to induce chronic insecurity and bath anxiety? No peace, people.
You may be wondering how I could survive in a bathroom with no door, for eight years. It’s such a good question, and the answer is that I quickly figured out the most secret part of the bathroom, the part where nobody could see my reflection in the mirror over the sink. I tended to beeline for that zone the way an iguana heads for the hot rock. Another good strategy was to wander the house for ten minutes, dropping hints like, “Oh, I’m thinking about a shower,” or “Hey everybody, if you all could stay over toward this side of the house, I might even be using that bathroom. Got it?”
It was while on a trip to Washington that I realized that my bathroom has the exact doorless configuration of the women’s bathroom at Reagan National Airport. In one door, out the other–so fast, so sanitary. But most days I don’t really have six hundred people an hour coming through my bathroom.
I don’t know who designed this thing–and he or she is damn lucky I don’t, because I’d be submitting that name to the Disciplinary Board of Bathroom-Making People. I don’t care how meandering your bathroom is, how many arty-type fancypants angles you put in a bathroom. If it doesn’t have a door, it isn’t a bathroom. It’s a conference room. It’s a lobby.
Enough whining. I’m just excited, that’s all. Gary the door man is fixing things up, and he’s already hung the most beautiful door I have ever seen. It’s so OPAQUE. I can’t even imagine what is going to happen when I turn the lock on that doorknob. I can’t believe this is actually happening. It’s like Santy Claus is in there with a nail gun.
Love,
Ann
PS Hubbo would like the record to reflect that there are other bathrooms in the house that have always had doors.

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47 Comments

47 Comments

  1. The Russian was really pretty with the Google translator, but I couldn’t figure out how to switch back to English. I finally closed my browser and opened it again. There must be a better way.
    Anyway, very cool. An excellent way to learn a new language.

  2. You know how people have the dream that they get to work and realize they aren’t wearing a stitch? Well – my dream is that I’m going potty in an open room. It’s horrible! How you managed for so long is beyond me, but CONGRATS!!!
    Happy holiday’s
    Elizabeth

  3. Well… in French, you’re a guy! (who is “curieux” rather than “curieuse”)
    And then when I clicked on the comments, suddenly everything was in Hebrew (or rather Hebreu, since it had been French…um, wait…)
    But what a cool feature! and the door looks awesome too.

  4. Given the magnetic attraction a mother-on-the-toilet has for a child, I don’t know how you have survived all these years without a door.

  5. A friend of mine used Google translator to reply to one my Swahili facebook posts. It was quite funny, although I’m still not sure why she wanted me to search for her lawn.

  6. You appear to have ‘smoked drywall’ in French – doesn’t sound appetising at all.

  7. Yay, I can finally get your blog into my feeds on Google. Had trouble before but now it’s there!

  8. quel étrange que tout cela sonore lorsqu’ils sont traduits par un ordinateur?
    Sorry, but that does not mean “just how peculiar does all this sound when translated by a computer?”
    But maybe that is a sentence that needs to be “interpreted” rather than “translated.”
    I have doors on my bathrooms, but one is a swinging door, a bit more modest than your average wild west saloon, and the other bathroom originally had glass french doors… but we remodeled that one… Now that the kids are older, they are less likely to barge in, don’t you find? Your door is very woody and lovely, indeed.

  9. hooray!! that’s hysterical. it’s amazing the stuff we get used to, isn’t it? But it feels sooooo good to get it fixed — then you wonder how you could possibly have lived that way for so long. Yes, I do live in an old house that needs major renovations, how did you know? happy holidays and new year and all that stuff — good present to yourself!

  10. Ooooh, what a pretty door! When it was mentioned the other day, I assumed the door had been broken and just stayed that way for 8 years, not that it was really designed that way.
    I have to admit though, when I lived alone and now when I am home alone I leave the door open when I’m in the bathroom. I could make the excuse that I’m letting the dog be near-by like she likes to be, but really, I get a little weird thrill from it. And now, I have said too much.

  11. So, in Dutch, your “I’m going to take a shower” comments intimate that you would like everyone to stay on the other side of the house for the night. :D Given that typical Dutch bathrooms are barely the size of your broom closet, this would be supremely confusing. Who would ever want to spend that much time in there? After that, the translation becomes somewhat garbled, perhaps suggesting that you might actually want some help in there; odd, since everyone should already be rolling out the sleeping bags. Oh well, good thing most Dutch people understand English pretty well.
    As a mommy to three kids aged between 10 and 2, I say, bathroom with doors that lock = sanity. Enjoy it!

  12. Santy Claus with a nail gun?? Now THAT’S the guy I want coming down the chimney!

  13. I have never understood the doorless bathrooms either. When my husband and I were house hunting, we were amazed at the number of places that had no door between the bedroom and bathroom, or had glass bathroom walls and doors. C,mon people, at least hang some curtains!

  14. No one wants to watch anyone else sitting on the can, or even catch sight of them. No. One. Yay for Gary the door man. I could do with a Santy Claus with a tile saw since I’d like a new kitchen sink (not avocado green) and tiled backsplash for Christmas.

  15. Dear Ann,
    Congratulations on your doors.

  16. Wow. No doors on the bathroom for 8 years. Horrifying. My current problem is that our master bath has a pocket door which only locks from the outside. So when I am taking a shower in the morning, hoping I can get done before my 2-year-old wakes up, more often than not he barges in before I am finished.

  17. Hope you heard me laugh loudly when reading the Dutch!
    I’ll keep with the peculiar English!
    happy bathing!
    else

  18. I love Google translate, if only I had a use for Albanian!!!! Okay, so they don’t always get the masculine/feminine, but my writing in Spanish is probably worse!

  19. Google doesn’t even attempt to translate “y’all.” That’s probably a good thing. There is no simple translation for the endearing regionalisms that make our vast nation so intriguing.

  20. OK, in German: Kay is a man, and the rest makes me wonder how ANYONE thinks a human translator can be beat, when s/he is capable of rendering a text from one language into another language so that everyone can still understand what’s being said… (Mild rant because until recently I used to a help a friend out when she had more translation work than she could cope with, but for the past 2 years there’s been zilch-zero-nada on the market)
    If I hadn’t read the original English text, I would honestly be puzzled as to what you were blogging about. Great for a laugh though!
    Thus writes the woman who has never had a door on her bathroom, but has now treated her adolescent children to a curtain (for when visitors come). Now all we need’s a plumber to come fix the leaking tank…
    I wish you both a truly festive Festive Season!

  21. I totally understand, having lived through renovation without a bathroom door for months years ago. Then recently revisited this dilemma at the Ames hotel in Boston where the bathroom has a clear glass wall. Ok, the shower curtain takes care of the privacy, but the acoustics???

  22. I just moved into my house which is not finished construction-wise. That first week, there was not a single door on any of the bathrooms in the house. The place was crawling with plumbers, electricians, painters, carpenters (you get the idea). I could not bring myself to use any of the bathrooms while they were there — what if one of them took it into their head to work in the general vicinity where I was? I developed really strong bladder muscles. I can’t imagine how you did it for 8 years.

  23. Dekuju vam! (I can practice reading in Czech!)

  24. Well, that was just tons o’ multilingual fun! I clicked on many of the language buttons, and paid particular attention to the sentence: “I can’t wait til Google will knit my socks for me,” seeing if I could figure out the words “knit” and “socks.” “Soksi,” anyone?
    Also, who knew Macedonian used the Cyrillic alphabet? I certainly didn’t.

  25. We have one bathroom with one door that is never really closed. When kids were little it was impossible to have a ‘private’ moment. At one time I remember having a lovely bubble bath with everyone including the dog come in and visit with me. Now if you are in the tub and someone has to go…you pull the shower curtain around and plug your ears! Needless to say it doesn’t happen much.
    Lovely door.

  26. I like the translation tool. Tres chic.

  27. Okay, this is freaky. Cuz my gramma? the one who taught me to knit? 1) didn’t have a bathroom door and 2) called him Santy Claus just like you.

  28. quel étrange que tout cela sonore Étrange, indeed. Though, like the super-destructo-machine in the Incredibles, I think that Google Translator has the capacity to learn and improve itself. It gets better all the time!

  29. apparently, there is no Spanish word for Fancy pants…otherwise, pretty readable…

  30. I have to say that I just love the image of Santa all handyman style with a nail gun!

  31. “Y’all” translated into Spanish is the equivalent of “all y’all,” which of course is sometimes correct and sometimes just WRONG.
    Not bad, generally.

  32. The German is pretty bad. Reminds me of when a friend sent me a card she’d written that appeared to be in gobbledygook. I asked what on earth she’d done, and she said she’d tried to write a poem by taking the German-English dictionary and putting down the words in German. “But what,” I said, “is “adv”? Oh…” She had mistaken the parts of speech for the German words…
    Meanwhile, I too have just bought a condo without a bathroom door. There’s a door on the toilet part of the bathroom, but the bathroom itself has no door. Nor does the bedroom. It’s my least favorite feature of the otherwise fantastic house, but I’m glad to know that a. I’m not alone and b. someone else fixed theirs, which gives me hope.

  33. The Thai wasn’t as bad as I expected …. they even got the “knit socks” pretty good!
    Fell down in other places, but all in all … I’ll still stick with English, thanks! Much funnier – Thai doesn’t allow for sarcasm or tongue-in-cheek very well in person, let alone in Google translation!
    As for BR door … like others, my nightmare has always been being in a bathroom without door (or walls).

  34. The Latvian translation is so awful, it’s hysterical. Best laugh I’ve had today!

  35. My aunt has one bathroom in her house & it has a french (glass panes) door. You can see the toilet from half way down the hall. No curtain, not even frosted glass…just hello world. She always wants everyone to come to her house for holidays/events & nobody wants to because of the bathroom situation.
    There’s no reason a family should be that close.

  36. We have a door to both our bathrooms but the “guest” bathroom does not lock due to house-settling issues. Makes for some interesting nail-biting moments for the hostess when we have company. The guests are blissfully unaware (why make them uncomfortable in advance) and so far there haven’t been any embarrassing confrontations. As far as I know.

  37. The Russian may be pretty, but it’s pretty garbled as well: verbs are translated as nouns and vice versa, idioms are taken literally and then scrambled beyond all recognition (it has you “Beeline” (a mobile phone company in Russia) by means of an iguana’s head for the sake of a hot cliff (but it’s in the wrong case)). Forget gender, either human or grammatical. I made the mistake of reading the English first, and because of that I was able to make more sense of it than I would have otherwise. I’ll try it again with another post and not read the English first. It’s just lucky that bathrooms are built out of stronger and straighter stuff than whatever Google translater is working with. It sounds like you bathroom is making much better sense these days.

  38. The Google translator’s not so bad at all, at all. One interesting thing to do is to translate from English to whatever language one wishes and then back to English. Here’s that technique applied to what Google insists on referring to as the “Irish” language:
    1. Ann’s original text in US English:
    I’m curious to hear from anyone who’s multilingual: just how peculiar does all this sound when translated by a computer? (As opposed to just plain old English peculiar, I mean.)
    So go ahead: one world, y’all! I mean, it’s a Google world. I can’t wait til Google will knit my socks for me. Any day now, any day.
    2. Google’s English to Irish translation:
    Tá mé fiosrach a chloisteáil ó dhuine ar bith a’s ilteangach: ach conas a peculiar seo go léir a dhéanann fuaim nuair aistrithe ag ar ríomhaire? (seachas Mar go díreach soiléir d’aois Béarla peculiar, ciallóidh liom.)
    Mar sin, dul ar aghaidh: ceann ar domhan, y’all! Ciallaíonn mé, tá sé ina saol Google. Ní féidir liom fanacht go dtí go mbeidh Google knit mo stocaí dom. Aon lá anois, aon lá.
    3. Google’s Irish to English translation:
    I’m curious to hear from anyone who’s multilingual: a peculiar but how does all this sound when translated by a computer? (as opposed to just plain old peculiar English, I mean.)
    So go ahead: one of the world, y’all! I mean, it’s a Google world. I can not wait until Google knit my socks for me. Any day now, any day.
    So, it seems that Google translate successfully recognizes the universality of “y’all,” while becoming confused by the difference between being “one world” and “one of the world.” The dual uses of “peculiar” are also problematic for it, and the future tense (“will knit”) and subject-verb agreement (“Google knit” vs. “Google knits”) are sticking points.
    I’m highly encouraged that the ever-evolving, self-aware Google obviously has plans to learn to knit … 8^) Surely we sympathetic knitters can help Google with its grammar and syntax as it figures out how to SSK and P2TOG.

  39. Yay to long overdue home improvements! It took an electric bill of monumental proportions to make our landlord realize that we have not been exaggerating for the last five years, that there really isn’t a lick of insulation in the attic. The elves showed up yesterday, and I am in a state of astonishment over the newfound warmth. It’s December and I can feel my fingers and toes – amazing!!

  40. Just for fun, I clicked on the Yiddish. Oy.
    Anyway, Ann, I guess you win the “door” prize for today……
    LoveDiane

  41. Honestly, the german translation is awful. Makes you sound like a madwoman. All the best from Germany and Happy Holidays!
    Alex.

  42. OMG!
    The Estonian translation is absolutely crazy!
    But the door is beautiful!

  43. My first thought…now you can get away with knitting in there.

  44. The Spanish is pretty bad! You would need to know English to understand. I agree with debby(m) that a human translator is the only way to go!

  45. I swear, there’s nothing better than reading a big swath of French (and understanding it, by the way! I’m getting better! Hooray!) and then running across the word “y’all.” It made me feel so at home, while I was reading French. :) And I learned the French word for “nail gun.” This is brilliant!

  46. I stayed for a while with a friend on one of the Gulf Islands in British Columbia. Our ‘bathroom’ was an outhouse. On the top of a cliff. Overlooking the ocean and other islands. We had no door, but there – who would want one!?

  47. As the only female in a house with a husband and three sons, having a lock on the bathroom door was NON-negotiable when we built the house. You have my sincere congratulations on your new door. Enjoy it!