Automatic translation is now mainstream. It’s simple enough to have text on a web site or in a text field translated between languages. The Google translate app on a smartphone combines (AR) “augmented reality” and translation algorithms to create a screen image that substitutes what’s in front of the camera with something like the same text in your own language. That’s handy for reading street signs, museum captions and menus.
It’s also handy when a non-Chinese speaker wants to see the nutritional content of food products.
Here is a photograph of the back of the pack along with its automatic translation appearing in real time as AR on the smartphone screen.
The translations are not always accurate, but they don’t need to be. Here’s something I discovered in Ukrainian, along with the app’s flickering real time translations. Click on the picture to see the detail.
This is automated translation, but it also bears a resemblance to the products of surrealist writing, literary collage, and the play of metaphor.